Robert Stallman San Jose Master Class October 8, 2017

by | Nov 3, 2018 | Articles

BBC critic notes, “Stallman’s claim to a special 
place among the world’s masters of the flute rests 
in the daring artistry he demands of himself in 
every situation.”

“Mentored by Jean-Pierre Rampal early on, he went to Paris as a Fulbright scholar to study with Rampal, Alain Marion and Gaston Crunelle at the Paris Conservatoire, thus his teachings importantly bring the French linage of flute playing to us.”

While attending a master class in San Jose, California in 2017, I heard him remind the students of the importance choosing and making appropriate of tone quality, vibrato, and articulation for the right style of era and making music supported by technique.

Make Music!

• Confidence comes from knowing how
• There is no good technique without tone
• Commit to a feeling. How can I get you to reveal your emotions?
• Say something when you play!
• Play with depth, not just pretty!

What is Good Tone?

• A good tone is open, clear, in tune, has steady core, all partials centered, using consistent color throughout all registers”.
• EE is nasal and buzzy. Eu is warm. Relax Ee ot Eu
• Spin the sound to float it. Feel the sound moving -not stagnant”.
• Don’t hold your breath while you play”.
• It is essential to have “point” in the sound so it is rich and projects.
• Add depth of tone to your scales and phrases. Scales are music!
• The tone is Half Cooked, not done yet, but you are getting there.

Mozart Concerto in G+

• Maestoso means play majestically, with the correct regal dotted rhythm.
• Feel the beat in 2. Its not a March!
• Give weight to the 1st note as if saying Hello! This is my stage!
• For the best quality of articulation attacks: strike the tongue on the “bump” where the teeth & gums meet. Use the Tue syllable and give weight to the attack but not accent. Go inside the core of the note.
• No staccato! No clipping slur by 2’s”.
• You know, I have my own Stallman cadenza editions”?

Chaminade Concertino

• For the opening melody say your 1st note well! It should be full, dark, and the vibrato deepened in amplitude.
• Develop your long tone potential. Deepen your sound as an exercise and transcribe this melody in several other keys.

Deepening the tone exercise

• Use the vowel “Tue” not Tah
• Quarter note =60 4/4. B –Bb each a whole note, b-Bb quarter notes, B-BB half notes to B whole note. Descend ascend a step

Breathing exercise

• Posture! Lean forward
• Open mouth
• Press tummy, inhale, and allow air to enter like a vacuum -4 counts
• Hear the entry –use Hoh


• Not too fast! Not always one speed either!
• We don’t want to hear “sugar” on top of all the notes. Mix it into the batter.
• Running fast notes do not get vibrato!


• Forget “piano” when you play with an orchestra as a soloist except in very exposed and un-layered passages.
• What’s often important is not what’s written but how it sounds”
• When the dynamics are “p” or “mp” in solo rep or concerto, don’t be ‘forte’ but be heard out in the hall -whatever that takes.
• Don’t take the dynamics too literally.
• What’s written on the page is not necessarily how it is going to sound. What’s important is how it sounds, not necessarily what’s written on the page!

Handel Sonata B-

• B minor is a special key. Bach only wrote a few pieces in B-. Only the Locrian mode has the tri-tone (devils interval) and was banned but Bach spiritualized it. He turned it into something sacred.
• For this mood the tone needs deepening,

Vibrato for deeper dimensions

• Use deeper amplitude for forte to intensify the vibrato
• Find the sound first and then slip into the vibrato.
• You are not a doorbell! Not suddenly alarming. Hear the pitch first!

Mozart Andante

• Music is about expressing! These are Mozart’s private feelings shared with us.
• Commit to a feeling. How can I get you to reveal yourself? More! Reveal your emotions. “Say something!”
• Can you fake if you don feel it or understand the emotions (aesthetics) yet? In time it will come!
• But, itis not a guessing game. You gather the feelings through the harmony-tension release, key, mode, accidentals and through the various levels of sequence building, appoggiaturas, and dynamics.

Piston Sonata

• Use a special sense of the articulation for the 2nd movement
• For this go inside the note, keep it legato but with deep meaning.
• Use these syllable: da, da, da, ma, ma, ma or mu, mu, muh

Play with depth, not just pretty!

• Push into the sound but don’t sound pushed.
• Like sleep-walking, deliberate, slow, plodding like a Bach bass line. Imagine Bach sleep walking in the streets of Leipzig in his slippers.