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Doppler Discoveries
Franz DOPPLER (1821-1883)
Sonata for two flutes and piano, Op. 25 [19.31]
Fantaisie pastorale hongroise (Hungarian pastoral fantasy) for flute and piano, Op. 26 [10.47]
Das Waldvöglein (The Bird of the Woods) Idylle for flute and horn quartet, Op. 21 [4.53]
Grande Fantaisie, for flute and piano [13.20]
Aus der Heimat (From the homeland) Festspiel for two flutes and piano, Op. 39a [14.41]
Karl DOPPLER (1825-1900)
Variations sur un air hongrois (Variations on a Hungarian air) for flute and piano [5.55]
Chant pastoral hongrois (Hungarian Pastoral Song) Fantasie for two flutes and piano [9.25]
András Adorján (flute), Emmanuel Pahud (flute), Jan Philip Schulze (piano), Arcis Hornquartett
rec. 2018, Bibliothekssaal, Polling, Germany
FARAO CLASSICS B108104 [79.20]

Under the title Doppler Discoveries, Farao Classics present seven works by Franz and Karl Doppler, which are much admired in the flute repertoire, given in performances by renowned flautists András Adorján and Emmanuel Pahud.

New names to me, Franz and Karl Doppler were brothers born in Lviv, Galicia (now eastern Ukraine) who later worked chiefly in Hungary and Austria as flautists, conductors, arrangers and composers. Both brothers were engaged as flautists in major orchestras and also toured Europe as solo flute virtuosi. The booklet written by András Adorján asserts that the name Doppler was almost a closely guarded secret known only to flute players and enthusiasts. In addition, he mentions the misapprehension that the Doppler brothers’ works amount to mainly popular paraphrases, potpourris and variations. Evidently the brothers wrote stage works including operas which lie forgotten today. The Dopplers were friendly with such celebrated names as Liszt and Brahms, with Franz requested by the former to orchestrate several of his Hungarian Rhapsodies.

What must be painstaking research into the Dopplers has borne fruit for Adorján and in the 1970s he discovered an unpublished and forgotten Double Concerto for two flutes in four movements by Franz Doppler. The Double Concerto soon won a regular place in the flute repertoire with Adorján recording the work with Jean-Pierre Rampal and Orchestre National De L'Opéra De Paris in 1976 for Erato. A more recent discovery is the Franz Doppler Sonata for two flutes with piano accompaniment in four movements written circa 1872. The Andante and Rondo were previously known, having been published as opus 25, but not the first two movements. Franz’s most renowned work is the Fantaisie pastorale hongroise (Hungarian pastoral fantasy) for flute and piano. Published in 1874 as Op. 26 the three movement Fantaisie contains folk melodies which are especially marked in the opening movement. I have to admit my favourite work on this album is Franz’s Das Waldvöglein (The Bird of the Woods) Idylle for flute and horn quartet, Op. 21. To the virtuosic flute part played by Pahud the addition of the horn quintet really enriches the score and provides splendidly contrasting tone colour performed here splendidly by the Arcis Hornquartett. Although it was known of, a published version of Franz’s Grande Fantaisie for flute and piano is a fairly recent discovery. Written circa 1850 it’s an early work in five sections including an unidentified theme and two variations. In 1879 Franz wrote his Aus der Heimat (From the homeland) a tableaux vivant for the silver wedding celebrations of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary. Proving extremely popular it was arranged in several versions which have inspired this arrangement for two flutes and piano, Op. 39a prepared by Jan Philip Schulze. With such a splendid performance by Adorján and Pahud it’s easy to see why Aus der Heimat was so popular.

Apart from arrangements, Carl Doppler published no flute works of his own. So it’s rare to encounter one of Carl’s works in a programme and here he is represented by the Variations sur un air hongrois (Variations on a Hungarian air) for flute and piano in three movements. The four movement Chant pastoral hongrois (Hungarian Pastoral Song) Fantasie for two flutes and piano is thought of as a joint composition by the Dopplers. Its introduction is the same as the Fantaisie pastorale hongroise, Op. 26 but scored for a second flute. Only the handwritten solo flute parts have survived and here Jan Philip Schulze has prepared a realization of the piano accompaniment which makes this another work to relish. Quite exceptional is the flute playing from Adorján and Pahud, often stunningly virtuosic and full of sparkle and joy. Recorded at Bibliothekssaal, Polling the sound quality is satisfactory and nicely balanced although it’s a touch close for my taste as I like some space around the edges. András Adorján has written the booklet essay which contains the relevant information about the works.

Featuring flautists András Adorján and Emmanuel Pahud this new album of Doppleriana is outstandingly performed. Including four first recordings I can see Doppler Discoveries having appeal not just to flute enthusiasts but also for those looking for something different.

Michael Cookson

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