The Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27.01.1756 – 05.12.1791) was, during his short lifetime, one of the most prolific composers of the classical era. He showed prodigious ability from an early age. Already competent as a pianist and violinist, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Mozart went on to compose more than 600 works, many of which are acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music.
Many of Mozart’s Piano Concertos and Violin Concertos are worth a place in any collection but in this instance we have opted for a concerto that he wrote for flute and harp. This fine work was written in April 1778 having been commissioned by Adrien-Louis de Bonnières, duc de Guînes, a flautist, for his use and for that of his eldest daughter, Marie-Louise-Philippine, a harpist, who was taking composition lessons from the composer. The soloists in the piece sometimes play with the orchestra, and at other times perform as a duo while the orchestra is resting. The flute and harp alternate having the melody and accompanying lines and in some passages they create counterpoint with just each other. This work is one of the most popular double concertos in the repertoire and is the only piece that Mozart wrote for the harp.
We have decided to include a fine performance featuring Frank Theuns (flute) and Marjan de Haer (harp) accompanied by Anima Eterna directed by Jos Van Immerseel. This CD, on the Alpha label, has the benefit of containing a performance of Mozart’s only other double concerto, his Concerto for Two Pianos in E flat major, K365, in which Jos Van Immerseel is one of the soloists. The final work on the recording is the Horn Concerto No. 3 in E flat major, K447 in which the soloist is Ulrich Hubner.