Virtuoso Flute Trios
Virtuoso Flute Trios DVD begins with 3 lovely, charming and rarely played or recorded works of Theobald Bohm. The Three Duos were arranged using Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Lachner songs. These were originally for 2 sopranos and piano. The first song was from a text by Henrich Heine. The second song is from a text by Carl Klingemann. The third song is from a text by Friedrich Ruckert. The composer Bohm was the famed flutist, teacher, composer and inventor of his own flute. The Bohm flute system helped make flutists much more able to perform works of great technical difficulty. Bohm always contended in his teaching, as many others have as well, that the flute is the closest instrument to the human voice. Bohm had all his students sing works before they practiced them to emphasize the similarities between the human voice and flute. Certainly these lovely Bohm arrangements are further proof of the closeness the flute has with the human voice. The second work of the DVD is the iconic work by Franz Doppler, Andante and Rondo. Franz Doppler was renowned as flutist, composer and conductor. He lived and worked most of his early years in Pest Hungary and later moved to Vienna Austria. Together with his brother Karl, who also was a conductor, they formed a flute duo that performed extensively in Europe and in America as well. This work has a warm and reflective first movement, followed by a Rondo dominated by Hungarian folk dance music, which ends with a great flourish of runs in the two flutes. It was a great joy to me to finally record this work which I loved ever since playing it in the early years of my career. The third work on the DVD is the Duettino based on American Motifs, again by Franz Doppler. During the early 19th century composers of Europe became infatuated with America, the bustling new democracy of the New World. Composers such as Dvorak and Doppler held high hopes for this new nation and dedicated music to these hopes. In this work, one can hear many early American songs woven into the texture of the work. The first tune is Hail Columbia. The next tune heard is the arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner, followed by the Boatman Dance. The work ends featuring the famed theme from Yankee Doodle, which becomes a technical tour de force and exciting ending via Doppler's gifted composition. The fourth work of Virtuoso Flute Trios DVD is the famed JS Bach Trio Sonata in G major. During a period from 1729 to 1741 JS Bach was the leader of one of Leipzig's two musical collegia. This was an assembly of some 30 mainly amateur musicians and college students who met each week and performed chamber music concerts. These musical events would often include secular cantatas, concertos, orchestral overtures and smaller ensembles such as duets, trios, and quartets. Music performed would often be arranged and performed later for various other instruments. In the case of this trio, in G major, BWV 1039 for two flutes, there is also an arrangement BWV 1027 which is exactly the same for viola de gamba and obligato harpsichord. In addition, three of the movements of this work have also been transcribed for organ. It is therefore hard to discern for a fact that it was originally for two flutes. In this arrangements for 2 flutes, the first movement begins with a long solo line in the second flute part. The truth is, that both flute parts in this JS Bach are equally important. All the movements have fantastic counterpoint which seems to give the work a bigger feeling, than just 3 musicians performing. Perhaps the most memorable composition is the 3rd movements which floats along in a static manner, almost to infinity. I regard this work of Bach as the most famous and real anchor for the DVD. Friedrich Kuhlau had a harsh beginning to his life, when at the age of 7 he fell into the street and lost his right eye. Although he was a prolific composer, many of his compositions went up in the flames of his home which burned down. He became personal friends with Beethoven, and Beethoven, became the great influence in his compositions. In Denmark, Kuhlau gained fame as a pianist and conductor. Equally important, Kuhlau loved the music of Beethoven and championed his works more so, than many of the other conductors in Europe. Kuhlau wrote so many works for flute, that he became famous as the Beethoven of the flute. His compositions, whether for solo flute, flute duos, or flute trios - quartets and quintets with strings contain strong flourishes which often have the feeling of Beethoven. This is particularly true of the last movement of this G major Trio with it's powerful writing for the piano, and it's tour de force ending for both flutes.