Hoffman, a Viennese contemporary of Haydn, wrote around sixty concertos
between 1758 and 1778, thirteen of them for flute. Until very recently
only one, the Flute Concerto in D, Badley D1, was available on record
but, despite Hofman's authorship having been authenticated in 1933,
it continued to be advertised as being by Haydn (doubtless considered
a more saleable composer). The flute was a favoured instrument in the
mid-to-late baroque, and lends itself well to the shapely, elegant music
of the classical period.
This is agile, colourful music is more richly ornamented than is usual for the prevailing style of the period. All four concertos fall into a conventional three-movement structure, with slow second and quick final movements. Here a dedicated "historically informed" performance is clearly not intended, but sprightly playing, well-measured tempi and a nicely balanced, chamber acoustic result in invigorating, high-spirited readings throughout. Balance between orchestra and soloist is sensitively maintained, and Seo's fluent, expressive playing and discreet vibrato is admirably suited to these sunny works. A well merited restoration to the flute's concerto repertoire.