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saint-saens fantaisie nsm 245Fantaisie, Op.124, by Camille Saint-Saëns

Transcribed for Flute (originally for violin) by Peter H. Bloom

Flute Part, PDF $8.98

The following excerpt is taken from Peter H. Bloom's foreword to the edition:

"We flutists are always on the lookout for great repertoire to perform with harp, and the Fantaisie is a perfect gem to purloin from the violinists' repertoire.  The expressively romantic melodies, lush impressionistic sonorities, athletic intervals, diversity of articulation, variety of dynamics, and evocative exoticism are ideal for the flute.  The few problems of range are easily modified, customized, accommodated.   As a duo, the work features both instruments in equally prominent and demanding roles.  It's no surprise, then, that a number of flute transcriptions have been generated over the years.  My goal, in this current work, is to provide fellow flutists with a significantly fresh approach to the Fantaisie.

Although a simplified adaptation of the Fantaisie is fairly straightforward, an arrangement that preserves the thrilling virtuosic intensity and rhetorical thrust of the work is another matter.   An accurate presentation of Saint-Saëns's aural palette is essential to an authentic performance of the Fantaisie, and methods of achieving dynamic balance and tonal color often differ between flute and violin.  The rhetorical nuances of articulation between the two instruments also require different approaches to achieve equivalent interpretations. The treatment of the violin pizzicato at measure 178, the elimination of articulation marks at measure 11, the inversions of double-stops/tremolos at measure 43-44 and 77-86, and the octave transposition from measure 184-194 exemplify these accommodations.

Violin double-stops present a conundrum.   Technically impossible on the flute, double-stops are often reduced to a single line.  The lower part is simply excised. But discarding the sonic complexity and virtuosic gesture of Saint-Saëns's parallel voicing dilutes the music and belies the composer's dramatic intentions.   I've suggested double-stops be executed, on the flute, as tremolos.  They're somewhat challenging but not impossible.   Consider that the tremolo, as a virtuoso flute technique, was perhaps more popular during the composer's lifetime than in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Changes to the original violin part are made, here, with the intention of conserving the composer's ingenious creation.  After a decade of study, experimentation, adjustment, and performance of this work, I've settled on a transcription for flute that conveys, with integrity, the musical spirit of the original orchestration."

P. H. Bloom, May 11, 2013 ©

mp3 iconClick the icon to listen to a portion of the Saint-Saëns's Fantaisie performed by the duo "2", Peter H. Bloom on flute and Mary Jane Rupert on harp.  Or watch part of a performance video on YouTube


Fantaisie, Op.124 was written originally for violin and harp.  We provide the Fantaisie flute part transcribed by P. H. Bloom; the harp part is available as a free PDF download from online libraries of public domain music, such as

Flute part, 7 pages; Total, 12 pages.




We also offer a professionally-printed hard copy edition of Fantaisie, Op.124 by Saint-Saëns, transcribed for Flute for $14.99 plus a $5.95 shipping and handling fee to addresses in the USA.  Use the Contact Us form to let us know which hard copy publication(s) you would like to purchase, along with your email contact information and USPS mailing address. We will then send you a PayPal invoice for the sale and, once we receive notice from PayPal that you have paid for the item(s), we will ship your music to the address provided.