Piccolo recital for small flute and piano


Pietro Locatelli – "Sonata I Op. II" Andante.Adagio.Presto (Amsterdam 1731)-piccolo flute
Stephen Hough – "Un Piccolo Sonatina for piccolo solo" (2007)
      Allegretto. Andante. Vivace molto ritmico
Dinu Lipatti – "Introduction et Allegro pour flûte solo" (1939) - piccolo flute
Eugene Bozza – "Aria" Andante ma non troppo (1939) - piccolo flute
Petre Elinescu (1869-1947) – "Pastoral Romanian Scene"
      (Symphonic Fantasy with flute solo) - piccolo flute
Vasile S. Jianu (1904-1968) – "Preludiu and Rigaudon"(orig. for flute and piano) - piccolo flute

The repertoire chosen for this concert contains plenty of the musical affects that this complex instrument is able to reveal. Starting with the expansive Andante, through the vocal cantability of Adagio, the last movement calls for a virtuosistic character in Presto of the Pietro Locatelli - C Major Sonata. The flute was not an alien instrument for virtuoso violonist that wrote specifically for it. The XII Sonate was dedicated to Nicola Romswinkel, an amateur flautist and Locatelli’s disciple, as we can see in the Privilege to the Amsterdam Edition published by the author in 1731. It is also known that after his death, three traverso flutes ( two flutes in D and a flûte d’amour) were found in the inventory of Locatelli’s instruments.

About his Sonatina for piccolo solo (2007) the composer and pianist Stephen Hough says: "My publisher at Josef Weinberger, Lewis Mitchel, plays the piccolo, and a couple of years ago i wrote him a little piece as a gift – a one- page sonatina in one movement, lasting one minute...but in sonata form (first and second themes, development, recapitulation and coda). It was written mainly as a joke, but he asked me if he could include it in a recital programme he was planning. I was delighted but decided to expand the movement I’d written and added two more based on the same thematic material – one slow and melancholy, the other a perky finale where its first theme is the first movement’s second theme."

Eugène Bozza’s Aria originally written for alto saxophone, is a very well suited work for transcriptions and often can be heard on flute, clarinet, violin or cello. Written in 1936, it is one of the earlier important works of the French composer well known for his charming wind music.

During his time in Paris, Dinu Lipatti came to know the flutist Roger Cortet (flute teacher at Conservatoire National de Paris between 1942-1953) to whom he dedicated this piece in two contrasting movements written in 1939. In a neoclassical language, this piece employs the French aesthetic based on Romanian folklore. Introduction has a general indication of Rubato, being a richly ornamented Doina with vocal runs in real notation. Doina is a poetic and instrumental creation in a slow non-measured tempo, typical for the Romanian folklore spirit, where the feelings of longing, sadness or melancholy are expressed in the manner of spontaneous spoken language. The second part is a Romanian dance in three parts - Brâu, fast and brilliant with the indication Con brio.

Below are a few words worth spent about Petre Elinescu and Vasile Jianu that are surely unknown to the western flautists:

Petre Elinescu was one of the first important Romanian flutists. He was a pupil of Wenzel and Johann Misbach in the native town of Turnu Severin (south Romania) between 1880 and 1889, and later became a pupil of Italian flutist Luigi de Santis at Bucharest Conservatoire (1889-1894). He was an active soloist, teacher and composer and held a position as flutist in the Italian Opera in Bucharest (1892-1894), Bucharest Philarmonic Orchestra (1894-1936), Professor at Conservatory in Bucharest (1900-1936) and flutist at Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921-1930). He wrote virtuosistic pieces for flute and piano in the spirit of italian salon music, concert pieces for flute with string accompaniment in Romanian characteristic dance suite, since he was also a fine folklore collector. He also wrote a few didactical works including a Methode for Flute dedicated to the conservatory students in Bucharest.

Vasile Jianu is born in Iași (Moldavia) in 1904 where he studied flute with Alexandru Roșca at Conservatoire (1920-1929). He is without a doubt the founder of "a true modern flute school" as George Enescu used to say about him. Principal flutist of the Bucharest National Opera and George Enescu Phiharmonic (1929-1944), he distinguished himself as a conductor as well. In 1937, he was nominated flute and chamber music professor at Conservatoire in Bucharest, a position that he held until 1964. Vasile Jianu combined the qualities of a virtuoso flutist with a rich concert activity in the country, radio and television, as well as numerous tours abroad, being among the most talented performers in Romania. In the sphere of composition, he wrote a fine chamber music for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, violin and cello. A historical recording of Cantabile et Presto with George Enescu at piano and Vasile Jianu and the flute can stil be found in the archivse of the Romanian Radio Societe. In 1944, on the occasion of the concerts with the George Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest, Herbert von Karajan wrote: "Dear Mr. Jianu, I enjoyed very much to know you. Your artistic mastery is more than the fame created around you"

Vlad Colar