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ClassicsOnline Home » MOZART: Flute Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Andante, K. 315
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Flute Concerto In G Major, K. 313
Adagio non troppo
Rondo: Tempo di Menuetto
Flute Concerto In D Major, K.314
Andante ma non troppo Allegro
Andante In C, K. 315
The two flute concertos and the concerto
Mozart wrote for flute and harp were the direct result of his attempt to escape
from the restrictions of his native Salzburg, with its limited musical
opportunities. As a child prodigy he had amazed Europe, and an indulgent patron,
the then Archbishop of Salzburg, had allowed Leopold Mozart, Vice-Kapellmeister
at Salzburg, freedom to travel with his two children in concert tours that took
the family away for years at a time.
The succession of a new archbishop in
1772 brought an end to this freedom, while Mozart and his father constantly
strove to find some position for the young composer that would bring much
greater distinction. It was this ambition, fostered by Leopold Mozart, that led
his son in 1777 to resign his position in Salzburg and seek his fortune
elsewhere. The archbishop, indeed, was willing to see both Mozarts leave his
service, but this Leopold Mozart could not afford. He remained at his post in
Salzburg, while his son set out, accompanied by his mother, on a journey that
was to take him to Munich, Augsburg, Mannheim and finally Paris.
Travelling in their own chaise, Mozart
and his mother set out on 23rd September, 1777. They spent seventeen days in
Munich, where the Elector had nothing to offer, followed by a fortnight in
Leopold Mozart's native city of Augsburg. On 30th October they reached
Mannheim, the then seat of the Elector Carl Theodor, who kept an orchestra that
had won international fame.
Mannheim had other attractions for
Mozart. It was here that he met for the first time the Weber family and
embarked on a flirtation with the sixteen-year-old Aloysia Weber, a young
singer with whom, to his father's alarm, he planned a concert tour of Italy.
The connection with the Webers was to
continue, as Frau Weber, after the death of her husband, uncle of the composer
Carl Maria von Weber and copyist at Mannheim, moved with her daughters to
Vienna, in search of suitable husbands for them. Mozart was to be jilted by
Aloysia, for whom Frau Weber found a materially more advantageous match, but he
was eventually to marry Constanze, a dowerless younger daughter, to the
expressed surprise of the Emperor and the dismay of his father.
In 1777, however, this still lay ahead.
Mannheim had manifold musical attractions, but no position for Mozart.
Nevertheless he lingered there through the winter, and through his friendship
with the flautist Wendling made the acquaintance of a Dutchman, whose name
appears variously as De Jean and "M. de champs" in Mozart's letters
to his anxious father. De Jean had been an army doctor in Muenster and in 1758,
at the age of 27, had travelled to Batavia where he was employed as a surgeon
by the East India Company. It is for this reason that Mozart refers to him in
his letters as "our Indian". De Jean had wide interests and a wide
circle of friends, including the doctor who was to attend Mozart on his
death-bed in 1791. More to our purpose, he was an amateur flautist and a man of
means, and commissioned from Mozart three little, easy, short flute concertos
and a couple of flute quartets, for which he promised the sum of 200 florins.
The promised fee was to be a recurrent
topic in letters exchanged between Mozart and his father during the following
weeks. Mozart had no particular love of the flute and showed a certain
indolence in fulfilling his obligation to De Jean, a man canny enough not to
pay in advance for the music he had ordered. By February, however, Mozart had
written the two flute concertos we now have and three quartets, for which De
Jean had given half the money. In a letter written during his return journey
from Paris on 3rd October of the following year we hear again that De Jean will
pay later, a financial arrangement that must have confirmed Leopold Mozart's
worst doubts of his son's business acumen.
It is possible that the Andante in C,
for flute, with an orchestra of two oboes, two horns and strings, was also
written in Mannheim in the early months of 1778, as part of De Jean's
commission, although some have suggested a date after Mozart's return to
Salzburg, in 1779 or 1780. The single movement has a charm of its own, with its
brief plucked string introduction, a recurrent element, and poignant melodic
Whatever reservations Mozart may have
expressed about the flute itself, his compositions for the instrument are works
of characteristically rich melodic invention and equally characteristic clarity
of form and texture, allowing those for whom they were written a share in the
immortality of their composer.
The Austrian flautist Herbert Weissberg
was born in Vienna in 1939. He studied the flute with Hans Reznicek at the
Vienna Music Academy, where he was a conducting pupil of Hans Swarowsky and a
piano pupil of Richard Hauser. He later undertook further study in Music and
Theatre at Vienna University, before becoming a principal flautist in the
Vienna Symphony Orchestra. His career has involved him in work in chamber
music, as a soloist and as a conductor, with concert tours in Europe, America
and the Far East, recordings and broadcast performances.
Capella Istropolitana (Slovak
Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra)
The Capella Istropolitana is a chamber
orchestra formed by leading members of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra in
Bratislava. Founded in 1983, the chamber orchestra allows the players, many of
them experienced soloists, to playas chamber musicians. Much of the work of the
orchestra has been concentrated on the recording studio.
Martin Sieghart was born in Vienna, where
he studied at the Academy of Music before joining the Vienna Symphony Orchestra
as a principal cellist. He was a member of the Vienna Instrumental Soloists and
of the Concentus Musicus of Nicolaus Harnoncourt and Die Reihe Ensemble under
Friedrich Cerha. He founded a chamber orchestra based on the Vienna Symphony
Orchestra and his own choir, with which he directed many performances.
In 1979 Martin Sieghart conducted the
Vienna Symphony Orchestra for the first time at the opening of the Bregenz
Festival and was from 1984 to 1986 the orchestra's Assistant Conductor. He has
more recently extended his activities to appearances with other European
orchestras in a wide repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the avant-garde.
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