PAN MAGAZIN REVIEW March 2021
Hendrik Waelput (1845–1885) was a Belgian composer, who wrote his Concerto symphonique in 1866. His early compositional career showed some promise; he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome for his cantata Het Woud (The Forest) in 1867 and showed much promise as a potential leading Belgian composer. His career included posts as conductor of the Ghent Theatreand Ghent Opera, and he was Professor of Harmony at the Antwerp Conservatory. However, a brief spell as Director of the Bruges conservatory came to an end after just two years, and his compositions did not receive the popular acclaim anticipated in his early career. The flute concerto did not receive many performances and was subsequently forgotten. Sometimes referred to as the “Flemish Schubert”, however, there is much of interest within this challenging concerto. The opening Allegro Moderato is in E major, but by the timethe flute enters the rich Romantic harmony has already shifted to Ab major. Chromaticism is a feature of the work, with lyrical melodic lines decorated with chromatic neighbour notes and interspersed by two dramatic cadenzas. The central Andante Cantabile offers a moment of repose but has moments of turbulence and drama soon after the flute enters. After regaining a sense of calm with a rich low register melody, the music breaks way into the energetic Allegro molto, which bursts onto the scene with a strong sense of bravura. The flute part here is technically demanding, with fast moving arpeggios and wide octave leaps (think of something similar to the William Tell solo). Following a brief cadenza, the flute takes over the coquettish melody, with a sense of charm that would not be out of place in an Offenbach operetta. The music is full of character with plenty of space to communicate a sense of style amongst the fast-moving chromatic runs. These elements are repeated, moving through a range of keys, and finally culminating in a dazzling final cadenza. I feel Waelput’s compositional style in this piece is a little lighter than Schubert, perhaps with a little less melodic depth but with a greater sense of salon-music charm. The structure is at times a little convoluted but is in keeping with the Romantic idiom and maintains a sense of development through the exploration of different key centres. The flute part has plenty to occupy the performer, with some knotty technical challenges and some low register projection requirements, as well as some well-formed musical ideas to convey. The piano reduction, made by Wolfgang Kossack since a previous version made in 1925 was found to be unusable, is practical and well presented. This is an enjoyable and substantial piece which presents a useful addition to the somewhat limited Romantic concerto repertoire for the flute; it is fun to play and worth exploring.
WAELPUTCONCERTO SYMPHONIQUE FOR FLUTE AND ORCHESTRA
Edition Kossack c 2020
PAN MAGAZIN REVIEW March 2021
This set of four duets is designed for both classical and jazz players and provides an enjoyable introduction into the jazz idiom. Ryerson gives advice on how to create a jazz sound, including using legato tonguing as a default, reducing the amount of vibrato used and lightly swinging the quavers. The first two duets, Daytime Blues and In the Shade, provide opportunities for improvised solos over a 12-bar blues pattern, with chord symbols provided as well as a written-out version of the solo for those with less confidence to improvise. This is an excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of both the construction of the 12-bar blues pattern and to gain experience in improvising, all within the safe environment of a flute duet rehearsal! Both players have the opportunity to have a go at creating a solo, meaning that this is potentially an area an established duo can develop together. Each of the duets is relatively short and well suited for intermediate players. The score is well presented in a typical jazz-style type face, with both parts and the score provided. The pieces are fun and capture Ryerson’s characteristic energy. These are an excellent starting point for anyone interested in venturing into the jazz domain, as well as enjoyable, well-written pieces which provide scope for those with more jazz experience to explore style and interpretation in more depth. Ideal for students and amateurs alike, these are likely to become quite a big hit.
Edition Kossack 2020