An understanding has been passed down to us that Mozart had a somewhat jaundiced view of the flute, that he had not the inclination to lavish upon it the love and care and idiomatic poetry which give rise to the concertos for clarinet and horn and the wind parts of the operas and piano concertos. But, as Graham Rogers points out in his note, the evidence for this misunderstanding is at best circumstantial. When we listen to these concertos and fragments, we find solo parts every bit as quintessentially Mozartian as those cited above. They may not rival the piano concertos of his mature Vienna years, but they are masterpieces in their way, and are indeed the best of their kind.
Best of all is the concertante piece he wrote for a wealthy French count and his harp-playing daughter. From the ceremonial C major first movement, through the gracefully fluent triple-time Andantino, to the joyous bustling finale, the music’s cloth is cut peerlessly to the technical possibilities and individual timbres of both instruments.
These 1972 recordings were made by the cream of the Dutch early music movement, led by one of its alma parens, Frans Brüggen. They date from a time when early-music values of transparency, buoyancy and lightness of touch and tone were just beginning to filter through to performances of music from the Classical era, and they stand the test of time.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.