Patrick Gallois / Kazunori Seo

Doppler: Concerto for Two Flutes and Orchestra

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Franz and Karl Doppler were virtuoso flutists of the middle nineteenth century, born in Lemberg in what is now Ukraine. They toured and worked in various parts of Europe, composing music (sometimes jointly) for their own use in recitals. All the music here, except for the final Concerto for two flutes and orchestra in D minor (first exhumed by Jean-Pierre Rampal), was originally accompanied by piano and has been arranged for orchestra at the behest of Patrick Gallois, one of the flutists featured here. The thematic material of the music is undistinguished, but the concerto, especially in its first movement, is worth hearing; the composer, Franz Doppler, thought about how to generate unusual sonic effects from a pair of flutes going full bore (one might say). Two of the shorter pieces are potpourris. Of particular interest to U.S. listeners is the Duettino sur des motifs américains (Little Duet on American Themes), a set of fantasy-variations on Hail Columbia, De Boatman Dance, and The Star-Spangled Banner, with Yankee Doodle as a slam-bang finale. Gallois and second flutist Kazunori Seo imbue this music with the rollicking entertainment value that makes it a success even if there isn't really much to it, and it's recommended to flutists looking for an unusual recital piece or to anyone interested in the general concert world of the middle nineteenth century.

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