Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) started writing Daphnis et Chloé, his ballet in three scenes, in 1909, and it was premiered in 1912.
This ballet, and its suites, which are more often performed, are a treat for flutists.
All four flute parts in this piece (piccolo, first and second flutes, and alto flute) are important audition pieces. One of its most beautiful moments is the alto flute solo, which is often asked for in Associate Principal auditions.
One of the most useful ways to utilize harmonics, besides color and pitch changes, is to facilitate fast passages in the third octave of the flute.
By using harmonics of the octave or fifth (actually twelfth, but for simplification purposes we’ll refer to them as fifth) we can avoid some of the awkward cross-fingerings inherent to the third octave.
Below let’s examine some passages of the solo and orchestral repertoire where harmonic fingerings come to our help.