Wednesday, February 4th: I began my practice session by revisiting the Boismortier Trios and added Howard Buss, Remembrances for flute, cello and piano. Howard J. Buss (b. 1951) is an American composer of contemporary classical music. In the score he writes, “Remembrances was composed immediately following the death of the composer’s grandmother, May Buss (1903-2000). Rather than being a somber memorial or musical epitaph, this charming and lyrical composition is a celebration of life. The character of the opening section is contemplative and reveals a touch of nostalgia. Gradually, the music becomes more animated and Remembrances culminates in a spirit of joy and buoyant optimism.” Without hearing the other parts or the availability of a recording, it is hard to get a clear sense for what this piece has to offer. Joe, Michael and I will definitely have to read it together before adding it to a program.
Thursday, February 5th: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) originally wrote Trio in G Major for Flute, Bassoon and Piano in 1786 for the von Westerholt-Gysenberg family when he was only 15 years old. Beethoven was teaching the daughter piano, the Count played bassoon and his son the flute, but the bassoon part has since been adapted for cello. Influenced by the chamber music of Mozart, this three-movement trio features large-scale characteristics and piano figurations, allowing the piano to dominate throughout. The third movement is written in a theme and variations form with seven variations, all highly ornamental. This piece would certainly be a great addition to a future recital program.
Friday, February 6th: Albert Franz Doppler (1821-1883) was a flute virtuoso and composer who wrote German and Hungarian operas and ballet music, but was most famous for his compositions for flute. He eventually became chief conductor for the Vienna Court Opera, as well as Professor of Flute at the Vienna Conservatoire. Doppler originally wrote Souvenir Du Rigi, Op. 34 for flute, horn and piano, but the horn part can also be substituted with cello. The subtitle “Idyl” belongs to the genre of the musical mood pictures which were very popular during the 19th century and belonged less to the concert hall than to the salon. I absolutely love playing the works of Doppler because of their technical difficulty and crowd appeal.