Franz and Karl Doppler - Vols. 2 and 3
Franz DOPPLER (1821-1883)
Fantasie sur un motif de Beethoven Op.43 [7:23]
Fantasie sur Mutterseelenallein de Albert Braun Op.41 [6:07]
Duettino Américain Op.37 [6:57]
La Muette de Portici de D F E Auber pour deux flutes [9:01]
Nocturne de Salon Op.17 [4:20]
Preciosa de C M von Weber [7:43]
Deux Fantasies sur Robert le Diable de G Meyerbeer [7:11 + 7:15]
Airs Valaques Op.10 [11:19]
Nocturne Op.19 [5:27]
Mazurka de Salon Op.16 [3:44]
La Fille du Régiment de G Donizetti [7:02]
Chanson d’amour Op.20 [8:57]
Il Barbiere di Siviglia de G Rossini [9:31]
Karl DOPPLER (1825-1900)
Azujabb Magyar zene gyöngyei - Füzet 1 [9:06]
Füzet 2 [10:47]
Pásztorhangok [7:26]
Franz and Karl DOPPLER
Fantasie sur Hunyady László de F. Erkel [14:25]
Fantasie sur Faust de Ch Gounod [13:26]
Claudi Arimany, Maxence Larrieu, Massimo Mercelli, János Balint, Shigenori Kudo (flute)
John Steele Ritter, Alan Branch, Marta Gulyas, Michel Wagemans (piano); J Espina, Ch Chivu (violin); I Kertesi (soprano); M Manasi (cello)
rec. 2008-2011
SAPHIR LVC 1178 [79:03+79:09]
The brothers Franz and Karl Doppler were born in what is now Lviv in the eastern Ukraine, and later worked mainly in Hungary and Austria as flautists, conductors, arrangers and composers. (As far as I know they are unrelated to the discover of the Doppler effect). Franz is probably the more widely known today of the two for his orchestrations of some of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies and for his own Fantasie pastorale hongroise, a favourite of virtuoso flautists and included in Volume 1 in this series. These two discs help to fill in what for most listeners will be a large gap in their knowledge of their other work.
Both discs are well filled and well planned to include much contrasting music although as every item has a leading role for one or more flutes they are certainly best not heard as a whole. The music comprises a mixture much of which comprises virtuoso items obviously written for the brothers themselves or for others with techniques at least as developed as theirs. Even pieces which start relatively gently tend to end in cascades of notes, often sounding nearly impossible to the non-flautist - and even more so to the flautist with a less complete technique than the players on these discs. Despite this, the various items still manage to have some individuality and many imaginative moments. The two sets of czardas by Karl Doppler are particularly intriguing and show an ability to work in this somewhat specialised genre not far behind that of Liszt. The discs rewardingly vary the diet of flute and piano music with a few chamber items by Franz, in particular the Duettino Americain for flute, violin and piano, which makes use of a number of American national airs, his Nocturne for flute, violin, cello and piano, and, best of all, the delightful Pásztorhangok for soprano, two flutes and piano.
The remainder of the discs is taken up with music not intended solely for virtuoso players. Franz wrote a series of operatic selections for flute and piano or for two unaccompanied flutes. These are - just about - playable by amateur players and will have had a ready market. Each incorporates a large series of tunes from the opera in question, with the accompaniment given to the piano or second flute. They are probably more fun to play than to listen to, but they do give pleasure, especially if you know the operas on which they are based. I was particularly taken with the final selection, based on Il Barbiere di Siviglia, in which considerable ingenuity has gone into making an interesting whole.
This set is most likely to appeal to flautists, and it is certainly likely to give them much pleasure in these polished and well recorded performances. Others, especially enthusiasts for nineteenth century opera, may well gain unexpected pleasure from them. In any event credit is due to Saphir productions for their enterprise in filling an intriguing gap in the catalogue so well, and to the various performers, especially Claudi Arimany who appears on every track, for their work in resurrecting this fascinating repertoire.  

John Sheppar d
Fascinating repertoire. Most likely to appeal to flautists who will get much from these performances. Others may well gain unexpected pleasure from them too.