Friedrich Hartmann Graf: Flute Concertos (4) / Gaby Pas-Van-Riet, flute


Friedrich Hartmann Graf's (1727-1795) flute concertos come from a time when the transverse flute had recently gained enormous popularity, becoming one of the most fashionable instruments for the concert going public. Composers responded by churning out chamber music and concertos for the instrument. One notable example is Graf's contemporary Johann Joachim Quantz, who penned over three hundred flute concertos! Graf 's comparatively modest forty-six known concertos were very popular, printed and distributed throughout Europe. cpo brings us four of these, all scored for solo flute with strings and two horns, and two oboes added to one of them.

Listeners who enjoy the Mozart flute concertos will undoubtedly enjoy these as well. Even though Graf was a generation older than Mozart, it's likely that the works on this CD were written in the 1770s - the same decade that Mozart wrote his two flute concertos. Like Mozart's, Graf's concertos are brilliant and melodic, with exciting tutti sections (everybody's playing), lyrical middle movements, and concluding movements that are relatively short, brisk and playful. They are also harmonically rich and instilled with a Mozartian elegance.

The whole production is up to cpo's usual standards. Flute soloist Gaby Pas-Van Riet has served as principal flute of the Orchestra of the European Community under Barenboim, Karajan and Abbado and was also first chair in the Stuttgart Radio Symphony. The Südwestdeutsche Kammerorchester Pforzheim (say that ten times real fast!) are splendid under Johannes Moesus. I'm sure that anyone still reading will thoroughly enjoy this.