Karg-Elert: Complete Music for Flute

Karg-Elert: Complete Music for Flute
Composer Sigfried Karg-Elert
Artist Sara Ligas flute
Elisa Marroni piano
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 94976
EAN code 5028421949765
Release April 2015

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About this release

Sigfrid Karg-Elert is remembered not even for the harmonium music by which he set such store but the reams of organ preludes, fantasies and fugues which lie, often gathering dust, on every organist’s bench. His richly chromatic, densely harmonised idiom, not easily pigeonholed in ‘Romantic’ or ‘Modern’ boxes, and now better known through the music of his contemporary Max Reger, can struggle to find listeners in sacred contexts where the appetite for holy minimalism of the kind purveyed by Lauridsen and Whitacre is at its height. However, Karg-Elert was nothing if not various and industrious (he also made a most successful arrangement of Elgar’s First Symphony for piano), and this album of flute music shows quite a different side to him, perhaps a more appealing one to modern audiences.

As a teenager he learnt to play the flute, oboe and clarinet, and his teachers included no less than Carl Reinecke, composer of the concerto that is still a mainstay of the professional flautist’s romantic repertoire. His output for the instrument includes nothing on the scale of his mighty Second Sonata for harmonium, but 30 solo Caprices show a thoroughgoing understanding of its technical challenges and possibilities – not for nothing are they subtitled ‘Gradus ad Parnassum’ and yet exhibit plenty of the dazzle and sparkle that should draw listening pleasure from non-flautists. The late Sonata for flute and piano could almost be a dream of what Brahms would have done had he written for the instrument in his late, exploratory fashion, whereas the Suite Pointillistique and Impressions Exotiques are more immediately beguiling sets of character pieces.

Perhaps the difference in the character of his output is best illustrated by the Sinfonische Kanzone: this one, Op.114 for flute and piano, is flighty and yet no less harmonically stimulating than the cud-chewing chromatic meanderings of the organ work of the same title, Op.85. The work is performed here with appropriate elan by two Italian musicians who are experienced teachers in their own right.

Sigfried Karg-Elert (1877-1933) is best remembered for his organ works, and more specifically, for the harmonium. His dense, chromatic and complex counterpoint and rich late romantic harmonies put him next to his compatriot Max Reger.
This set contains the complete works for flute solo and flute and piano. His 30 Caprices for solo flute are not only interesting for professional flute players, and the works for flute and piano, notably the substantial Flute Sonata, are masterworks in their genre, showing an original mind and a fine ear for the flute’s lyrical and seductive qualities.
Excellent and compelling performances by two young Italian musicians.
Liner notes in English and Italian.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: I. Tempo giusto
  2. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: II. Un poco mosso, ma non brillante
  3. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: III. Allegro alla Händel (non troppo brillante)
  4. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: IV. Velocissimo e brillante
  5. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: V. Allegro giusto
  6. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: VI. Appassionato e stretto
  7. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: VII. Moto perpetuo
  8. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: VIII. Con molto brio
  9. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: IX. Rapido e brillante
  10. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: X. Leggero e veloce
  11. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XI. Velocissimo e molto leggero
  12. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XII. Leggero. Grazioso e veloce
  13. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XIII. Leggerissimo e grazioso
  14. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XIV. Moto perpetuo
  15. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XV. Mosso e leggerissimo
  16. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XVI. Un poco mosso, umoristico
  17. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XVII. Leggero veloce, giocoso
  18. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XVIII. Adagio
  19. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XIX. Vivacissimo, scintillante
  20. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XX. Ardito capriccioso ed assai mosso
  21. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXI. In tempo di walzer
  22. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXII. Agitato ed appassionato
  23. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXIII. Adagio appassionato
  24. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXIV. Rapido quanto possibile
  25. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXV. Un poco vivace e capriccioso
  26. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXVI. Capiccioso, con civetteria
  27. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXVII. Un pochettino mosso
  28. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXVIII. Sciolto, elegante e rapido
  29. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXIX. Velocissimo e frizzante
  30. 30 Caprices for Flute Solo, Op. 107: XXX. Chaconne
  31. Sonata appassionata in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 140

Disk 2

  1. Suite pointillistique in G Major, Op. 135: I. Leicht bewegt
  2. Suite pointillistique in G Major, Op. 135: II. Äuβerst gedehnt (Larghetto)
  3. Suite pointillistique in G Major, Op. 135: III. Scherzo
  4. Suite pointillistique in G Major, Op. 135: IV. Gewichtig, breit, doch nicht zu langsam
  5. Impressions exotiques Op. 134: I. Idylle champêtre
  6. Impressions exotiques Op. 134: II. Danse pittoresque
  7. Impressions exotiques Op. 134: III. Colibrì
  8. Impressions exotiques Op. 134: IV. Lotus
  9. Impressions exotiques Op. 134: V. Evocation a brahma
  10. Sinfonische Kanzone – Ruhig, empfindungsvoll, Op. 114
  11. Flute sonata in B-Flat Major, Op. 121: I. Idyllisch, nicht schleppend (Allegro amabile)
  12. Flute sonata in B-Flat Major, Op. 121: II. Äuβerst langsam (Adagissimo)
  13. Flute sonata in B-Flat Major, Op. 121: III. Sehr geschwind und leichthin