Composed by Jonathan Cohen
For bass flute (or Albisiphon Baritono) and piano
Published by Nourse Wind Publications
I. Early Morning Departure
II. First Star
III. The Unfettered Mind
IV. Shades Make the Musician
Albisiphonics is a piece for bass flute and piano written for Peter Sheridan on the occasion of his acquiring an Albisiphon Baritono. This rare flute was manufactured c. 1920 and designed by Albelardo Ernesto Albisi (1872-1938), who from 1897 was the principal flutist for La Scala in Milan, Italy. In 1910 Albisi designed a family of such instruments with varying ranges. The Albisiphon Baritono, having essentially the same range as the modern bass flute, including a B foot, is an upright instrument with a T-shaped head and a large bore.
Albisiphonics celebrates all three octaves of the modern bass flute and features many of its moods: the unapologetically-romantic and lyical, the brash with its staccato syncopations, the contemplative, the tender, the exuberant and the euphoric.
All movements of this piece may be played on the modern bass flute. Whereas the B foot is employed, it is not required. The four movements vary in their degrees of difficulty for both the flutist and the pianist, with the two inner movements being easier. Because of the challenge of playing quietly in some of the fast, slow and percussive piano phrases, the flutist might wish to use a microphone for better blend and balance.
Although this piece was written with the bass flute in mind, Albisiphonics is suitable for any flute pitched in the key of C.