Today, I’m listening to the Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra. I have not experienced many double concerti, so this will be, at very least, novel and hopefully more. The combination of the flute and harp sounds like it will contain many possibilities.
The recording is the same as yesterday, but the soloists are Robert Wolf on flute and Naoko Yoshino on harp.
Apple Music (If you open this link on your PC, it takes you to the iTunes page. If you open on your phone it takes you to Apple Music.)
Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C Major K. 299 /[297c]
- Some charming harmonies from the – you guessed it – winds.
- The whole orchestral introduction has a buoyancy to it.
- The harp and flute trade accompaniment roles, but the flute is – so far at least – the dominant solo instrument.
- But the harpist is definitely working. Much of what the orchestra would normally do is taken over by the harp, though it’s much more ornate than typical orchestral concerto accompaniment.
- Little accents from the strings are bursts of color.
- In this minor section, each instrument briefly has true solo time.
- Flute accompanies with sustained tones.
- The simultaneous cadenza is very cool, though I doubt it was composed by Mozart.
- The flute is much more dominant here, but the harp is a very welcome color in this movement.
- I find the repeated melody quite beautiful, especially with the harp’s arpeggios.
- Taking a moment to pay attention to phrasing, the flautist has done an incredible job with elegantly moving throughout its pitch range. The ends of phrases and leaps are lovely.
- The harp in some ways sounds like it’s trying to fill the role of a piano. At times, I do wonder if what’s requested by Mozart is natural for the instrument.
3. Rondeau – Allegro
- Harp enters first and flute copies harp’s melody.
- By far the most virtuosic harp playing. The B (or C) – if I’m getting the structure right – is impressive.
- Nice parallel harmony work in the C (or D) section right before the shift to minor.
- The flute has remained relatively restrained in this movement. It’s definitely present, but the harp is so much more active.
- Both instruments equally active in coda.
- Upon first listen, this is probably the least interesting of the pieces I’ve listened to purely from a compositional point of view. However, the novelty of the double concerto with the flute and harp is very real, and what could be seen lacking from really interesting harmonies or melodies is made up for by the compelling instrumentation.
- I should look up Mozart’s other couple double concertos. It’s a fun genre. In some ways, the orchestra feels more superfluous than in a single instrument concerto. I may have been just as happy with the flute and harp alone, though that would simply be a different genre.
- I should listen to more harp music. Cool instrument.
Until next time.