Champagne Rag for flute sextet
Fizzy fun for flutes is a good description of this piece. Rags were the American street music of the early 1900’s; syncopated melodies leaping and twisting around a base beat. The music establishment of the day considered them to be a path straight to youthful corruption. Lamb himself didn’t disclose his fame as a pianist-composer in the genre to a daughter until he was re-discovered in the 1950’s. A steady march with 2nd and 4th beat harmonic crunches defines the framework of this composition. The arrangement presents no significant hurdles except careful intonation in the upper register, as flutists should resolutely land on the off-beats so the audience knows the dissonance is entirely planned.