Classical Tyro

A Beginner's Guide to Great Music

Debussy, Syrinx (1913)

When Claude Debussy composed Syrinx in 1913 it was the first significant work for solo flute composed since C.P.E Bach’s Sonata in A Minor in 1763. The technical improvements added to the flute by Theobald Boehm in the mid-1800s made the piece possible, allowing Debussy to showcase what could be done with the new and improved flute. As a flute player myself, I have played the piece often and enjoyed the flexibility in how it can be interpreted.


Emmanuel Pahud, flute
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Paganini, Caprice No. 24 (1809)

The legend of Niccolò Paganini includes a story that his mother made a pact with the devil and traded his soul for musical virtuosity. Not true, of course. Like most great musicians, he was probably just born with some natural talent and then worked like a dog to develop that talent.


Alexander Markov, violin
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