Articles by this Author
Is it possible to move in two directions simultaneously? Generally, you move either forward or backward. Moving in both directions at the same time seems appreciably trickier, and maybe even impossible outside the realm of quantum physics.
Strangely enough, listening to achingly poignant music can be pleasantly addictive at times. Rather than making you disheartened, sometimes such music seems to uplift. Pieces with wide emotional contrasts can heighten the boost, as moments of blitheness offer easy respite from the solemnity. Heavy contrasts, though, require musicians who can move from lugubrious to lighthearted without missing a beat.
Concerts full of 20th-century music are not always appealing to audiences. And when concerts are unappealing, they risk being unappreciated, if not avoided. Similarly, if recital spaces as modest as local churches seem unappealing to world-class performers, then such performers might shun performing in them. Such recoiling is dangerous. It can threaten the very existence of concerts.
Nineteenth-century composers were not generous contributors to the flute’s solo repertory. Granted, many French composers wrote morceaux de concours, or contest pieces to be performed by students during competitive examinations at the Paris Conservatory. Aside from those, though, there are surprisingly few Romantic solo pieces for flute. German composers were particularly stingy. Schubert wrote only one big work, a theme and variations for flute and piano. Beethoven did not write even one. Neither did Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, or Richard Strauss.