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 Kuhlau was born in 1786 in Uelzen in Germany and died in 1832 in Denmark in Lyngby near Copenhagen. 1810 he had decided to settle in Denmark in order to avoid forced conscription in the Napoleonic army and was granted Danish citizenship as early as 1813. With his incidental music (op. 100) to Elverhøj (The Elf Hill), composed for a play by the Danish poet Johan Ludwig Heiberg (1791–1860), Kuhlau became the Danish composer of his time.
He was one of the most prolific composers for flute. His works include music for flute in various combinations – for flute alone, two flutes, three flutes, four flutes, flute and piano, three quintetts for flute and strings and this trio for two flutes and piano. Besides providing good literature for the flute Kuhlau was equally productive and successful composing for the piano.