27 January 2018
J.S. Bach: Flute Sonata in E-flat Major BWV 1031
The Bach scholar Robert Marshall has argued that the sonata was composed by J. S. Bach, since it was attributed to him by two independent sources, Bach's son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in the manuscript copy of the work in his handwriting, and Christian Friedrich Penzel, Bach's last pupil. The musicologist Jeanne Swack has suggested alternatively that BWV 1031 was based on a previous work for flute in E-flat by Johann Joachim Quantz (QC2:38 in the Augbach catalog), which survives in a version for flute and obbligato harpsichord and in another version for flute, violin, and continuo.
Hamilton Harty: In Ireland
Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty hailed from the north of Ireland and in 1895 moved to Bray, Co. Wicklow, where he was influenced by Michele Esposito. He soon made a name for himself as an accompanist and went to England in 1901 to pursue a career as pianist and conductor. He developed to become one of the best conductors of his time, especially after he took over the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester (1920-33). Conducting left him little time for composing after 1920.
Philippe Gaubert: Ballade
Gaubert was born in Cahors in Southwest France. He became one of the most prominent French musicians between the two World Wars. After a prominent career as a flautist with the Paris Opéra, he was appointed in 1919, at the age of forty, to three positions that placed him at the very centre of French musical life, professor of flute in the Conservatoire de Paris, principal conductor of the Paris Opéra, and principal conductor of the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire.
Schubert: Introduction and Variations on ‘Trockne Blumen’ D.802
The Introduction and Variations for flute and piano (1824) uses the 18th song from Die schöne Müllerin (“Trockne Blumen”) as the basis for a set of variations. This narrative song cycle sets 23 poems from Wilhelm Müller’s Seventy-Seven Poems from the Posthumous Papers of a Travelling-Horn-Player and tells the story of a wanderer who falls in love with a miller’s beautiful daughter only to have his affections replaced by a hunter wearing green. Though the text of the chosen song may seem quite somber for a set of flute variations, this brilliant tour de force demands equal technical virtuosity from the flutist and the pianist and ends with a triumphant march.
Phillipe Hurel: Eolia for solo flute
Philippe Gaubert was a French musician who was a distinguished performer on the flute, a respected conductor, and a composer, primarily for the flute. Gaubert was born in Cahors in Southwest France. He became one of the most prominent French musicians between the two World Wars. After a prominent career as a flautist with the Paris Opéra, he was appointed in 1919, at the age of forty, to three positions that placed him at the very center of French musical life, professor of flute at the Conservatoire de Paris, principal conductor of the Paris Opéra, and principal conductor of the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire.
Tchaikovsky arr. Guy Braunstein: paraphrase on Lensky’s Aria
From The Opera 'Eugene Onegin'. Composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arranged by Guy Braunstein. From the flute collection which brings together a range of selected pieces from the international concert life of famous flautists, and presents Lensky’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin. Inspired by Lensky’s Aria, Guy Braunstein, currently the leader of the Berlin Philharmonic, has revised Tchaikovsky’s aria to make it playable on the flute.
Gluck: Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Orfeo ed Euridice is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus, set to a libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi. It belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale, meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing. The piece was first performed at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 5 October 1762 in the presence of Empress Maria Theresa. Orfeo ed Euridice is the first of Gluck's "reform" operas, in which he attempted to replace the abstruse plots and overly complex music of opera seria with a "noble simplicity" in both the music and the drama.
Prokofiev: Flute Sonata Op. 94
In summer of 1943 Prokofiev optimistic about victories at the Russian front, left Moscow for an extended stay at the House of Creative Work, a subsidized artists quarters in the Ural Mountains. In this relaxing atmosphere he composed his charming flute sonata, Opus 94, as a respite from work on three major scores that had occupied his attention from the previous year (Cinderella, War and Peace, and the film music for Ivan the Terrible). He describes the sonatas composition: "Perhaps this was inappropriate at the moment, but pleasant. I had long wanted to write a work for the neglected flute, and I wanted this sonata to have a delicate, fluid classical style."
You can listen to a sample recording of one chosen musical composition selected from this concert. Do please note that the recording you will hear has been performed by musicians other than our current season of artists who will bring their own unique and stimulating interpretations of the very same compositions.