borrowed a flute from a military band
at the age of eleven and played it constantly.
Two years later he wrote the brief but
charming romance which opens this disc.
Mozart was several years younger (i.e.
seven) when he wrote a series of sonatas
for violin and keyboard whilst staying
in London. The original versions have
a very simple violin part but there
are editions in which some of the music
for the piano’s right hand is transferred
into it, and these have become part
of the flute repertoire. The B major
sonata played here is the last of the
set and has two movements, an andante
followed by an allegro. This is an astonishingly
mature work for a seven year old.
Seven and half minutes
into the disc we reach the main work
– Beethoven’s 7th Violin
Sonata. At the time this work was written,
violin to flute transcriptions were
apparently common but this one was made
by the present performer. The arrangement
works well, at least when it is performed
as effectively as this. The instruments
are, of course, equal partners and the
interplay between Möller and Bülow
is obviously the product of like minds.
Theobald Boehm was
a flautist in the Munich Court Orchestra
and also built flutes in his own workshop.
In 1850 he developed a metal cylindrical
flute with a fingering mechanism that
is still used today. Most of Boehm’s
compositions were intended as demonstration
works for his instruments. A few are
sufficiently interesting to have survived
into the modern repertoire, including
the Elégie on this disc which
was written at the grand old age of
86. Wistful but never profoundly elegiac,
playing this must have been light relief
for the artists in comparison to the
Widor is inextricably
linked to the organ but he wrote much
else besides. The suite for flute and
piano was commissioned by Paul Taffenel.
It has four movements, lasts 16 minutes
and is structured like a sonata with
a scherzo placed second. For me, this
is the "find" of the disc
– a most attractive work that suggests
some more of Widor’s non-organ compositions
should be resurrected.
Mats Möller plays
superbly throughout and he is supported
admirably by Jan Bülow. The sound
is also excellent, with just the right
perspective and balance between the
instruments. The presentation is attractive
and informative - I simply couldn’t
find fault with anything here. In short,
as good a flute recital as you are likely
to find, this would make a perfect Christmas
Patrick C Waller