For flute students in the U.K., this year’s ABRSM (Exam Board of the Royal Schools of Music) Grade 5 curriculum includes Au Crépuscule by Gérard Meunier. among its exam pieces. It is, in fact, a popular test piece for exam boards in many parts of the world. We are fortunate to have a video by Leonard Garrison to help develop our performance of this piece.
Meunier‘s publisher,Editions Henry Lemoine of Paris, provides the following biography:
“Born in Paris in 1928, Gérard Meunier showed right from his youth undeniable musical dispositions and very great sensibility. After general studies, he studied the piano with Lucien Wurmser, harmony, counterpoint and fugue with Jean Gallon and Henri Challan, orchestra direction with Louis Fourestier,
Brought up in artistic surroundings, (his father, Lucien Meunier was an artist and poet), he is sensitive to all forms of art; an eclectic and universal spirit, he is a nature-lover, a great friend of animals, in particular cats with whom he has resembling secrets.
“Next to the activities of pedagogue, pianist and director of the Aubervilliers-La Courneuve Conservatory which he directs since more than twenty years, his talents as creator realise in musical expression. Dependent of no school, by means of a sonorous language which to him is his own and with great sincerity, he expresses that which he sees and that which he feels before a modern world.
“His work Ombres de l’Ombre (Shadows of the Shadow) for wind instruments, percussions and narrator, as well as his Sonata for piano dedicated to bird victims of sea pollution, are cries of anguish and despair before the human evolution.”
If his works are any indication, Meunier, himself a pianist, had a particular affinity for the flute, numbering more than two dozen works for solo flute, multiple flutes, or flute and piano among his compositions. Au Crépuscule is among his better known, and we are fortunate to have a video by Leonard Garrison, dedicated to the best approach to its performance.
Leonard Garrison is Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Idaho, and was chair of the 2017 National Flute Association convention in Minneapolis, USA. He has a written performance guide to this piece.
Here is his video:
An Alternative version is provided by the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) where it is part of its Grade 5 examination:
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