Two capitals – Vienna and Paris – have been the centres of European music life for many years. The programme of works for flute and with flute, which had their premieres in these two cities, will be presented by the ensemble of the Mariinsky Orchestra soloists and guests of the festival.
The Viennese part of the programme will open with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music. Adagio and Allegro in F minor, originally composed for use as a funeral mass to be played on a mechanical organ for the famous Austrian Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Gideon von Laudon, but later rearranged for a wind quintet. This is the version which will be performed at the concert.
Quartet in C major, which was thought to be composed by Franz Schubert for a long time, was many years later attributed to Czech composer and guitarist Wenzel Thomas Matiegka. His work was called Notturno and was meant for the trio of flute, viola, and guitar. Schubert added cello to the ensemble so that it could be played with the participation of amateur cellist Count Johann-Karl Esterházy and composed the second trio for the minuet. The flute part will be performed by Matvey Demin, a soloist with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich.
Although in one of his letters Mozart confessed that he did not like the flute and did not like to compose music for flute, his flute works, nonetheless, really use the instrument’s capacities to the maximum. Among such works are four quartets for flute and string trio, out of which the two-movement one in C major will be performed at the concert. The quartet is gallant in spirit. Featured flautist for the performance is Walter Auer, a soloist of the Wiener Philharmoniker.
The second part of the concert, dedicated to the city of Paris, will see a performance of Claude Debussy’s music to Les Chansons de Bilitis production in its original version as a melodrama accompaniment to the lyrics of the composer’s friend and poet Pierre Louÿs. The music will be performed in St Petersburg for the first time. In 1894, Louÿs published a cycle of texts written on behalf of a poetess from Lesbos and pretended those were translations from Ancient Greek. Three years later, Debussy set three poems to music and soon, specially for the theatrical premiere of this mystification, created an extended version (12 numbers) with a delicate accompaniment for an “archaic” combination of two flutes, two harps, and celesta. The work was performed only once, in February 1901, and then Debussy used the music for his piano cycle Les Six Épigraphes antiques. The score of Les Chansons de Bilitis was considered irretrievably lost for a long time and was published only in 1971. Flautist Maria Fedotova together with Lika Kremer, who will read Louÿs’s poems in French (18+), performed the cycle in Moscow, at European festivals in Lockenhaus and Basel, and now will bring the production to St Petersburg. Bilitis will be complimented by one more French repertoire rarity, Jacques Ibert’s music to Le Jardinier de Samos by Charles Vildrac. It is a political satire in an ancient setting.
In 1915, Claude Debussy decided to compose his own series of six sonatas for unconventional combinations of instruments, but implemented it only in part. One of such sonatas, for flute, viola and harp, will conclude the concert. Featured flautist for the performance is Julien Beaudiment, a soloist with the Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon and Professor of the Conservatoire national supérieur musique et danse de Lyon.