Our house is very divided at the moment as to whether Kevin Pietersen should or shouldn't be allowed back into the England cricket team. Some feel that the offence he committed was treasonable and therefore a life ban should ensue and the others feel that the cricket team is heading for a major defeat without him. This is clearly going to run and run. Now that the General Election has been and gone maybe the decision should go to the country, after all we are the ones who have to sit, watch and groan as England attempt to win the Ashes again.
Mozart, the most gifted musician in all classical music claimed to hate the flute, whilst working on the flute concertos he wrote to his father "my mind gets easily dulled, as you know, when I'm supposed to write a lot for an instrument I can't stand" It could be that he was bored because they were written during an unusually unproductive time in his life following an ill fated romance with Aloysia Weber. Despite all this, Mozart's writing for the flute is particularly sensitive and effective especially when the instrument of the day was much simpler than their modern day equivalent and so notes could not be pitched so easily.
In 1777 the composer received a commission from a wealthy Dutch music lover that Mozart should write some flute concertos but he was told that the flute parts were to be kept simple. The fee was 200 Gilden, however either because one of them was actually a re-hashed oboe concerto or the flute parts were too difficult, Mozart only received 96 gilden, which was somewhat the story of Mozart's life. However the result was his glorious flute concertos in G major and D major.
Similarly the Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C major was a commission from a wealthy French patron and his daughter who intended to play it together. As such it was very much written for the home rather than the stage. However yet again the aristocrat never paid Mozart the full amount and it is thought that he and his daughter never even played the work. It is a unique piece of music in that he was the only composer who wrote for this combination of instruments. The harp was still in development during the classical period and was treated more as a plucked piano. Now of course the work is a regular on the concert platform.
On the recording I recommend the flute is played by Emmanuel Pahud and the harp by Marie-Pierre Langlamet. Pahud has been the principal flautist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra since the age of 22. Marie Pierre Langlamet is also a harpist for the Berlin Phil. Both artists are world renowned soloists who regularly perform with the worlds leading orchestras.
Also on the recording is the beautiful Mozart Clarinet Concerto performed by the much celebrated German clarinettist Sabine Meyer who has performed with more than 300 orchestras worldwide.
Listen to Emmanuel Pahud playing the 1st movement of Mozart Flute Concert in G major on YouTube
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