Selected pieces for flutes
Composer: Friedrich Kuhlau
Instrument: Flute and Piano (CD)
Duration: 74 min.
This CD is a live recording from 18/12 1986 recorded at the Herkulesaal in Munich by the Bayerischer Rundfunk and was released in 2011 by Horizons and sponsored by the association Jean-Pierre Rampal.
The arrangement of the Sonatina Op. 20 No. 2 and the Ballet Music from Elverhøj for flute ensemble are published by Edition Svitzer.
Originally written for piano and presented here in a adaptation for 10 flutes by Asger Lund Christiansen (1927-1998), the Sonatina in G major, Op. 20 no. 2 is one of the best known. Such simultaneously educational and entertaining compositions did a lot for Kuhlau´s celebrity. Furthermore, he had quite a large family to support and such ideal pieces for the young ladies of the upper middle class offered a significant source of income indeed!
Elverhøj ("The Elfs Hill"), which made Kuhlau a Danish composer of his time. Written at the request of the Royal Court for the weding celebrations of Frederik Carl Christian and Vilhelmine Marie, the opera met with such success that the composer was immediately appointed "Maestro" with a doubling of his salary! The Scandinavian - and a particularly Danish- mood of it is folkloric themes made it instantly considered as the first authentic "national" music of Denmark, a culture that was to be pursued later by Niels W. Gade, Edvard Grieg, Carl Nielsen...This opera has had more than a thousand productions to this date. It is thanks to Toke Lund Christiansen that this Ballet Music from Elverhøj has been adapted for 11 flutes and harp.
The rest of the music on the CD is duets and trios, together with his excellent flute quartet. The live recording on the CD comes from a 1987 concert celebrating concert by Friederich Kuhlau´s bicentenary - or more accurate, his 201st birthday.
The flutist are: Jean-Pierre Rampal, András Adorján, William Bennett, Michel Debost, Hiroshi Hari, Auréle Nicolet, Ransom Wilson, Toke Lund Christiansen, Henrik Svitzer, Ole Birger Petersen & Bent Larsen.
About the composer +
Friedrich Daniel Rudolf Kuhlau (11 September 1786 – 12 March 1832) was a German-born Danish composer during the Classical and Romantic periods. He was a central figure of the Danish Golden Age and is immortalized in Danish cultural history through his music for Elves' Hill, the first true work of Danish National Romanticism and a concealed tribute to the absolute monarchy. To this day it is his version of this melody which is the definitive arrangement.
During his lifetime, Kuhlau was known primarily as a concert pianist and composer of Danish opera, but was responsible for introducing many of Beethoven's works, which he greatly admired, to Copenhagen audiences. Considering that his house burned down destroying all of his unpublished manuscripts, he was a prolific composer leaving more than 200 published works in most genres.