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Delila’s aria, from Act 2 of the opera ’Samson et Dalila,’ is Camille Saint-Saëns’ best known vocal composition – and one of the great display arias for the low, mezzo-soprano female voice. It is a study in dark, passionate colors fused with one of those melodies that once you’ve heard it, you can never forget it. By transposing the aria from D-flat major to G-major, plus making many other adjustments in both parts, this aria makes a magnificent concert piece for flute and piano. The flute part displays the warm, low register of the instrument, reveling in the dark tone that is unique. This aria will challenge flutists’ breath control, tone production, chromatic intonation and stamina. The key to performance is constant support and vibrato from the diaphragm. For the flutists who can convey in sound Dalila’s notorious sensuality, this concert arrangement is a tour de force. It is important to note that this arrangement is also available in a matched orchestration for flute solo and string orchestra. The orchestration is by Mark Starr. The score and parts are published by Noteworthy Musical Editions (http://zasu.us/noteworthymusic ). In the near future, both score and string parts will be made available for purchase on Score Exchange. I have also posted an mp3 recording made with sampled sounds. The tone quality is far superior to the MIDI sounds one hears with Scorch. I hope everyone interested in this concert arrangement will listen to the mp3 recordings.
Reviews of Dalila’s Aria from the opera ’Samson et Dalila’; Edited and arranged for flute and piano by Isabelle Chapuis
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