Small nws excemption3 Debussy: Afternoon of a Faun

Orchestral Excerpts | Mark Sparks, Flute
Bt movie not in use Atmosphere of entire piece rests on the flutist's shoulders 00h:00m:41s
Bt movie not in use Playing opening line in one breath requires efficiency 00h:01m:28s
Bt movie not in use Try to get the vibrato and tone mix right at beginning 00h:01m:58s
Bt movie not in use Don't overdo the crescendo in bars 3-4 00h:02m:14s
Bt movie not in use Don't diminuendo too much at the end of first phrase since the line needs to be handed over to the oboe 00h:02m:27s
Bt movie not in use Same melody is restated many times, each time orchestrated differently 00h:02m:42s
Bt movie not in use Second statement needs to be played louder. Breath in the middle is OK this time 00h:03m:07s
Bt movie not in use At Reh. 2, melody is extended and rhythm becomes freer 00h:04m:02s
Bt movie not in use Introduction of new color for middle register C-sharp 00h:06m:09s
Bt movie not in use 4 meas. after Reh. 2, traditional to move tempo ahead slightly 00h:06m:55s
Bt movie not in use 3 meas. before Reh. 3, steadiness of tempo is important. Second flute joins 00h:07m:05s
Bt movie not in use 2 meas. before Reh. 3 includes two separate diminuendi 00h:07m:54s
Bt movie not in use Important for last note to have a secure lyricism. Keep vibrato steady and pitch up 00h:08m:54s

Mark Sparks, Principal Flute of the Saint Louis Symphony, demonstrates and discusses the opening solos in Debussy's Afternoon of a Faun.

Claude Debussy



Thumb flutes mark sparks

Mark Sparks

Mark Sparks was appointed Principal Flute of the St. Louis Symphony by the late Hans Vonk in 2000. He is a frequent soloist with the Symphony and other orchestras and has performed in the United States, Europe, Scandinavia, South America, and Asia. He has appeared as Guest Principal Flutist with many ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and the Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic.

Prior to his appointment in St. Louis Sparks was Associate Principal Flute with the Baltimore Symphony under David Zinman, and Principal Flute of the San Antonio Symphony and the Memphis Symphony. He began his career as Principal in the Canton Ohio Symphony and in Venezuela with the Caracas Philharmonic.

In the summer of 2013 Sparks returned to the Aspen Music Festival and School where he is an artist-faculty member and Principal Flute of the Aspen Chamber Symphony. He also taught his fourth annual master class at Missouri's Innsbrook Institute, and joined the faculty of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan.

Sparks is an enthusiastic teacher and maintains a private studio in St. Louis. He is a former full-time faculty member of the Peabody Institute, and frequently presents clinics and recitals in the U.S. and abroad. Sparks has recorded two solo albums, appearing on the Summit and AAM labels, and a new recording of French repertoire for flute and piano is planned for release in 2013. Sparks is also an avid writer about flute playing, and is a regular contributor to Flute Talk magazine's feature "From the Principal's Chair."

Born in 1960 and raised in Cleveland and St. Louis, Sparks graduated Pi Kappa Lambda from the Oberlin Conservatory as a student of Robert Willoughby, winning the 1982 Oberlin Concerto Prize.