Hoffmeister: Flute Concertos Nos. 21 and 24 / Bruno Meier, flute


Elegant and lyrical, lively and buoyant, these polished concertos by Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812) are immediately appealing and enjoyable throughout. Hoffmeister's flute concertos nos. 21 and 24 are performed by flautist Bruno Meier with the Prague Chamber Orchestra. Released by Naxos, both concertos are appearing as world premiere recordings, and it's hard to imagine them being played any better than they are here.

Flautist Bruno Meier has long been dedicated to the discovery and exposure of repertoire similar to these Hoffmeister concertos. In his work as a musicologist he has uncovered and premiered flute concertos by Mysliveček, Vanhal, Krommer, Rosetti, Reicha, Witt and Lachner.

A composer who is in the same league as Haydn in terms of productivity, Hoffmeister's music is woefully underrepresented on CD. His most frequently performed and recorded works include his Concerto for Viola in D and the Concerto for Clarinet in B flat. Aside from an assortment of other concertos, a few sinfonia concertante, and a Chandos CD containing three of his symphonies (CHA 10351), most everything else by Hoffmeister that is available on disc is chamber music. That's a shame; on evidence of these recordings, he wrote exceptionally fine orchestral music. Credited with some sixty-six symphonies and twenty-five concertos for flute alone, he also wrote a lot of it.

If we're lucky, perhaps there is a cycle of Hoffmeister's symphonies on the horizon from Naxos; if we are really fortunate, they too will be performed by the Prague Chamber Orchestra. In the meantime, we can welcome this CD, not only for the chance to hear Hoffmeister's graceful and melodic writing for solo flute, but also as an all too scarce opportunity to hear his orchestral oeuvre.