This disc contains a selection of previously un-recorded and
mostly unpublished flute concertos from the classical and romantic
eras, heard in versions prepared by flute player Bruno Meier.
The composer of the first two pieces, Peter von Winter, was born
in Germany and was a contemporary of Mozart. The composers knew
each other but did not get on. Winter was a violinist in the
Mannheim orchestra and later in Munich, where he became Kapellmeister
at the court chapel. He toured Europe, studied with Salieri in
Vienna and composed operas, wind concerti, a Requiem and other
instrumental works. His flute concertos were composed for Johann
Nepomuk Capeller, who was the flute player in the Munch Court
Orchestra and teacher of Theobald Boehm, the creator of the modern-system
flute. The music is highly enjoyable, with virtuoso displays
for the soloist combined with classical poise and elegance. The
second concerto, heard first on this recording, is in traditional
three movement form, with a majestic opening movement and lyrical
slow movement. The final movement is a folk-inspired Polacca
a dance feel, repeated rhythmic patterns and a rondo structure.
The first concerto, also in the key of D minor, is less traditionally
structured, and is in one movement with four sections. Von Winter
uses similar melodic material through the sections and although
this is a charming work it does not have the same sense of compositional
maturity as the second concerto. Meier plays his own cadenzas,
which are well written and in keeping with the style of the music,
and the soloist is impressive throughout the works, sensitively
accompanied by the Prague Chamber Orchestra.
Franz Lachner’s concerto is from the Romantic era, and
makes use of a bigger orchestra than Peter von Winter. Lachner
grew up in Munich and studied in Vienna, where he became associated
with Schubert and met Beethoven. He became Kappellmeister for
opera at the Kärntnertortheater at the age of 25 and went
on to have an impressive career as both a conductor and composer.
His flute concerto is thought to have been composed in 1832,
and opens with a strong orchestral tutti, making use of maestoso
rhythms and a dark minor key tonality. Another single movement
work, this has more of a sense of unity that Winter’s first
concerto and possess a strong musical identity, which seems to
hold the influence of both Haydn and Schubert, combining Romantic
lyricism with a more traditional harmonic language.
The final work on the disc is Antonio Rosetti’s E flat
major concerto, a three movement work with the added inclusion
of the harpsichord creating variety in the orchestral sound.
Published in 1782, it is thought to have been composed before
1778. A later version for horn also exists. This version has
been prepared for Meier, with his own cadenzas and ornamentations.
This is an enjoyable and well constructed work, with its major
key providing contrast on this recording. The expressive slow
movement is particularly enjoyable, followed by a charming light-hearted
Bruno Meier is to be congratulated both on his work researching
this repertoire and reviving it. His playing is excellent throughout,
with well considered phrasing and an enjoyable tone. He is highly
convincing as soloist and demonstrates an understanding of the
composers’ intentions. The Prague Chamber Orchestra provides
a well balanced orchestral accompaniment and maintains the quality
heard in the soloist’s playing. Highly enjoyable.