Performance Guide

Following the score:

As standard in all of Crumb's works, all performers must read from the score. With that said, it is helpful to highlight or mark with a colored pencil, each line of the flute staff. The flute part is not the top line of the staff, so there is the possibility of skimming over or losing your place.

 

Figure 1 shows the alto flute part on the second line of the staff. By marking with a color, this issue is avoided. 

Figure 1

Form: Four movements

I. La luna está muerta, muerta... 

    Instrumentation: alto flute

    Structure: isolated events with each instrument that pass to one another. The alto flute displays the                          longest musical ideas in this movement. 

    Page turns: none in this movement

II. Cuando sale la luna...

    Instrumentation: alto flute

    Structure: each musical event overlaps with another voice. The alto flute is sparse in this movement.

    Page turns: none in this movement

         Between movements II and III, change to piccolo

III. Otro Adán oscuro está soñando 

     Instrumentation: alto flute to piccolo

     Structure: Divided into three sections. Sections I and III are thicker texture with most voices playing                           together. Section II is marked senza misura, liberamente, and is a long, piccolo cadenza. 

     Page turns: none in this movement 

IV. ¡Huye luna, luna, luna!

     Instrumentation: piccolo to alto flute

     Structure: Two large sections with subsections:

                            Section I: The conversation between the child and the moon. This section is divided                                                    into four parts: El Niño, La Luna, El Niño, and La Luna. 

                                             All piccolo until the transition to Section II.

                            Section II: Musica Humana. After all performers exit the stage (except for the cellist), this                                              epilogue, or farewell music, is distinctly different in mood and style. 

                                             All alto flute. 

     Page turns: There is one page turn at the beginning of the movement. There is plenty of time        

                          following. It is important to make sure there is a copy of the score backstage for the                                   farewell music. Additionally, the segments performed when leaving the stage must be                               memorized and executed convincingly. 

                         

Figure 2 shows the instructions for leaving the stage in the processional. The pitch bends must be played while walking to the crotale prior to leaving the stage. 

Figure 2

Elements to think about throughout the piece:

I. La luna está muerta, muerta... 

Boldly, with rhythmic élan is how this movement is marked. The word élan is defined as "vigorous spirit or enthusiasm." The opening alto flute figure is the foundational content found throughout the movement. The tongue click is the star of this movement, and should be performed as indicated: with vigorous spirit or enthusiasm. I suggest practicing this technique separate from the flute line. Then practice the click with the alto flute to the chin, and finally practice both parts together. Figure 3 shows the main tongue click motive found throughout this movement

Figure 3

The ending speak-flute passage should be treated similarly. I suggest first practicing whispering the text to the rhythmic values indicated in the score. It is important to exaggerate the consonants of the text for projection purposes. Next, begin slowly putting together the corresponding pitch to syllable. if amplification is used, this is an important place where leaning into the microphone is helpful. It will aid with projection.

II. Cuando sale la luna...

 

Marked Languidly, with a sense of loneliness, this movement is sparse and vacant. The alto flute enters twice with a combination of pianissimo harmonics and regular pitches. For the first entrance, listen for the Tibetan Prayer Stones. The percussionist will play a 5-note pattern repeated three times. The flutist and banjo player enter together on the third entrance of the prayer stones. The second entrance of the mostly harmonics line, enters alone, however, the cello enters with the flutist on the forth note. 

Figure 4 shows the Tibetan Prayer Stone cue prior to the flute and banjo entrance.

Figure 4

The third and final alto flute entrance occurs at the end with the passage of key clicks. The notes fingered are G#, F#, D, and C (low octave). To obtain the most sound, use the G key for the loudest percussive pop. When fingering G#, also depress the F# key and pop the G key. For F#, remove the G# key and pop the G key. For low D, simultaneously pop the G key, F key, and E key. For low C, pop the G key. 

Figure 5 shows the pattern of key clicks.

Figure 5

**switch to piccolo between movements**

III. Orto Adán oscuro está soñando...

It is important that in the first section marked Hesitantly, with a sense of mystery, that the piccolo and vocalist (playing plates) align together in each entrance. The middle section, marked senza misura, liberamente, is a free-piccolo solo. After the solo, there is a fast instrument change to alto flute. Make sure the instrument is close by. Just like the opening section, there is important alignment and communication with the voice. By paying attention to the text, that will ease some difficulty with the complex rhythms found in both parts. 

Figure 6 shows one of the many strict entrances between the flute and voice found throughout this movement.

Figure 6

**switch to piccolo between movements**

IV. ¡Huye luna, luna, luna!...

By far the most complex and involved movement of the piece, it is separated into two large sections. Section 1 is the conversation between the moon and the child. This entire section is played primarily on piccolo (except for the transition into Section II). In both El Niño sections, the piccolo must line up with the electric cello. Listen for the first note of each group of five to help. In both La Luna sections, the piccolo must listen to the voice. These sparse, yet articulate exchanges occur between both parts. In addition, listen for the change from singing to speaking in the voice. 

Figure 7 shows the piccolo and electric cello entrances.

Figure 7

The transition into Section II, marked drammaticamente; quasi improvvisando, is the most involved section of the piece. I suggest paying attention to the percussion part, specifically the Japanese Kabuki Blocks, prior to the first alto flute entrance. The second entrance of the Kabuki blocks and whispered voice is the cue for the processional. This is where the flutist will stand and leave the stage while playing the pitch bends. Make sure you practice the physicality of walking and playing simultaneously, and you are also comfortable the the memorized entrances while walking off stage. 

Figure 8 shows the Kabuki Blocks cue

Figure 8

Section II begins backstage, "Musica Humana" Epilogue: Farewell-music as Berceuse (in stile Mahleriano). This music should be warm, tender, yet distant. Make sure the ensemble can still hear the distant cello on stage, as well as making sure the balance is correct from the audience's perspective. 

 

 

© 2016 by Kathryn Hendrickson