A favorite combination of instruments loved by audiences time and time again. Browse the above live recordings to see why this ever popular pairing is treasured by many. The agile qualities of the flute paired with the sonorous beauty of the harp is sure to please.
Concerto for Flute and Harp K299: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born January 27 1756 into a very musical family. He exceled in music at a very early age and began composing at the age of five and performing for European royalty. The years of 1762-1773 involved many travels for the Mozart’s as they received invitations from nobility to perform in various courts with Mozart and his sister Nannerl slated as child prodigies. Their travels took them to courts in Munich, Mannheim, Paris, London, The Hague, once more in Paris, and lastly back home by way of Zurich. Upon the return home in 1773 Mozart received his first position as court musician in Salzburg under Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Collerado. While this position gave Mozart the freedom to compose in a variety of genres he quickly despised his post for a number of reasons, of which was the low pay of 150 florins a year or roughly $83.81 per year. The low pay coupled with the closing of the court theater in 1775 led to his resignation two years later.
Upon leaving Salzburg Mozart traveled to Paris in hopes of securing employment there taking commissions when offered. In April 1778 he was hired to compose the Concerto for Flute and Harp for Adrien-Louis Bonnieres de Souastas, Duc de Guines a flutist and his eldest daughter Marie-Louise Philippine, a harpist taking composition lessons from Mozart.
Historically speaking, the majority of composers composing concerti for individuals they know will take into account that persons technical ability- for better or for worse. In a letter to his father Mozart claims that the flute player plays “extremely well” and that the harpist was “magnifique!” which was good for Marie-Louise as Mozart viewed her horribly inept at composition.
The two years spent in Paris proved financially difficult for Mozart as he was unable to obtain a court position and relied heavily on teaching and commission work for his income. Adding to his financial distress was the fact that Mozart was never paid by the Duc de Guines for his commission of the concerto!
The first movement of the concerto is in Sonata form, which was the standard for concerti written at that time featuring an exposition, a development, and a recaptipulation. The second movement features short phrases that are lyrically extended by the flute’s long lines and the harp’s accompanying arpeggios and is presented in the subdominant (IV) which is quite typical of Mozart. The final movement is a Rondeau which features the form: A-B-C-D-C-B-Cadenza-A(coda).
The above live recording was presented in partial fulfillment of James Predovich's Masters recital at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music in summer of 2013 where he was joined by Dr. Lisa Jelle from Capital University and accompanist Dr. Ailene McKay. The trio of musicians would then take the stage in 2015 where they presented the Mozart concerto, for a second time in it's entirety, as part of Dr. Lisa Jelle's faculty recital at Capital University.
Pedagogue & Orchestral/chamber musician