Théodore Gouvy: Serenades for Flute and Strings, et al. / Markus Bronnimann, flute


This is the second album to appear on Expedition Audio dedicated entirely to the music of Théodore Gouvy (1819-1898). The program of an earlier recommendation on the cpo label is made up of his orchestral music; this Toccata Classics recording offers three chamber serenades for flute with string quintet and two short pieces for flute and piano. Performances are excellent from the Kreisler Quartet, double bassist Ilka Emmert, pianist Michael Kleiser and most apparently, flautist Markus Brönnimann, principal flute of the Luxembourg Philharmonic.

Having been born to a French speaking family in a territory that was annexed by Prussia shortly before his birth, Gouvy was of a dual French and German heritage. This duality can be heard in his music. He was one of the most important symphonists of his time, although his renown came principally from Germany as opera-crazed Paris cared very little for purely instrumental music. Aside from seven numbered symphonies, his large body of work includes chamber music, solo piano pieces, choral works and songs in addition to two operas. The chamber music here is of a rather light nature, exposing more the composer's French side. The audio sample provided is the fourth and final movement of the Sérénade No. 1, Op. 82: Rondo Alla breve. Unfailingly sunny and beautiful, the program provides an hour of delightful music. Anyone drawn to chamber music with flute will thoroughly enjoy this.

If you enjoy the sample of the chamber works here, listen also to the sample from our previous post of Gouvy's fine writing for orchestra.

Here's a sample from the earlier Gouvy post on Expedition Audio, the final Alla breve movement from the Fantaisie Symphonique.