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Hermann HALLER (1914 – 2002)
Concerto for Flute, Clarinet and String Orchestra (1961)
Wladimir VOGEL (1896 – 1984)

Concertino for Flute and String Orchestra (1979)
Robert BLUM (1900 – 1994)

Concertino for Clarinet and String Orchestra (1974)
Hans SCHAEUBLE (1906 – 1988)

Concertino for Flute and String Orchestra Op.47 (1959)
Philipp Jundt (flute); Elisabeth Häfliger (clarinet)
Camerata Zürich/Räto Tschupp
Recorded: Radio Studio Zürich, October 2001 (Blum, Haller) and January 2002 (Vogel, Schaeuble)


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The most remarkable feature about Haller’s Double Concerto is its quite undogmatic use of dodecaphony. The composer, who studied with Volkmar Andreae and Nadia Boulanger and who attended Hindemith’s lectures at Zürich University in the 1950s, actually seems nearer to the latter’s Neo-classicism than to Schönberg’s dodecaphony. Dodecaphony provided Haller with a frame in which his tightly argued music may develop in a coherent way without renouncing any of its basic characteristics. These include formal clarity and concision, qualities obviously learned from Nadia Boulanger, as well as some unproblematic playfulness. As a whole, Haller’s Double Concerto is a sincere, accessible and attractive work of great charm.

Vogel is still a much underrated composer who developed his own brand of twelve-tone writing in a handful of substantial, though often unusual works, that have still to be given their due. The present recording of his Concertino for Flute, completed as late as 1979 though it is listed as VWV 15 in the composer’s catalogue, might well kindle some new interest for Vogel’s music. The Concertino is a deeply serious, more austere piece of music in which formal rigour successfully combines with direct expression within a concise single movement structure. A most welcome discovery.

Robert Blum too was a pupil of Volkmar Andreae in Zürich and a fellow student of Vogel and Weill at the Prussian Academy of the Arts in Berlin. The composer describes the three sections of his Concertino for Clarinet as short fantasies. The dark-hued, nervous introduction of the first section clearly sets the scene for what is to follow. Blum’s Concertino is another serious, sincere piece of music in an idiom slightly more advanced than any of the other pieces recorded here. Quarter-tones are called forth in the slow central section which creates some uneasy feeling quickly dispelled in the last energetic section. Another worthy addition to the repertoire.

Hans Schaeuble’s Concertino for Flute Op.47, completed in 1959 and regularly revised later, is rather a suite of short character pieces playing without break. On the whole, light-hearted characterised by clarity of form and thought as well as light textures prevail in this attractive and quite accessible neo-classical work. It definitely deserves more than the occasional outing.

This well-planned, beautifully played and nicely recorded selection of some little-known and unfamiliar works was Räto Tschupp’s last recording. This release pays a deserved tribute to this fine musician in the best possible way. It is well worth having for the quality of the playing and the quality of the works. A last grumble, though: the playing time is a bit on the short side.

Hubert Culot

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