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Hugo ALFVÉN (1872-1960)
Romance (1885)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)

Sonata in B K.15 (1764)
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)

Violin Sonata in C minor Op.30/2 (1802) (transcribed for flute by Mats Möller)
Theobald BOEHM (1794-1881)

Elégie Op.47 (1880)
Charles-Marie WIDOR (1845-1937)

Suite Op.34 (1898)
Mats Möller (flute)
Jan Bülow (piano)
Rec. Västerås Concert Hall in January 2004 DDD
SFZ RECORDS CD SFZ 1010 [57:52]

Hugo Alfvén 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 Beethoven.

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 stocking filler.

Patrick C Waller


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