Guillaume Tell-Duo Brillant is a fantasy based on themes from Rossini’s opera William Tell. This specific work was written by committee – a committee of two composers, one a brilliant flutist and the other a gifted oboist. It is intriguing to contemplate what ideas each artist brought to the table when the two met to compose the piece. Jules Auguste Eduard Demersseman was born in 1833 in Hondschoote, Netherlands. A product of the Paris Conservatoire, he won a number of awards for his playing and was famous for his virtuosity, especially his ability to double tongue (now a commonly executed technique.) He insisted on playing on an old style flute with only eight keys, which made his virtuosity even more astounding. He died in Paris in 1866. Not much is known about the life of Felix Berthelemy. He taught at the Paris Conservatoire where he instructed some of the finest oboists in the history of the instrument. Though entitled “Duo,” this work undeniably requires the equal efforts of flute, oboe and piano alike. The listener will recognize several of the themes from Rossini’s Overture.
Andrey Rubtsov, born in Moscow in 1982, graduated from the Central School of Music of the Moscow State Conservatory in 2000. He is currently studying oboe and composition as a post-graduate student. As a soloist, Rubtsov has performed with the Russian National Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre, the Moscow Symphonic Orchestra and the Moscow Philharmonic. In 2001 he was the youngest musicians ever to be invited to join the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) under Mikhail Plentev as associate principal oboist. He is a founding member of the RNO Wind Quintet. Marbella Fantasy, written as a wedding gift, was first premeired in Marbella, Spain in August 2004. Allégresse was fortunate enough to have the honor of giving the United States premiere of this piece on September 30, 2007 at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in Topeka, KS.
Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773), son of a German blacksmith, mastered a number of instruments in his youth including the oboe and the flute. His career centered in Dresden and the court of Frederick the Great in Berlin and Potsdam. His music reflects his international studies which took him to Italy, France and England. Quantz’s well-known treatise on playing the flute entitled Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen (1752), provides comprehensive information on Baroque performance practice in addition to technical and historical information about the flute.
Jean-Michel Damase was born in Bordeaux on January 27, 1928. Son of renown harpist Micheline Kahn he was surrounded by music at an early age. He began composing at the age of nine and started attending the Paris Conservatory at the age of 13. By the time he was 15, the conservatory unanimously awarded him first prize in composition. His music reflects the style of and is often compared to the work of Poulenc, Ravel, Prokofiev, Fauré, and Stravinsky. It has been described as unabashedly melodic and his rhythms as surprisingly playful.
Damase is not only an accomplished composer, but a gifted and successful pianist as well. He has traveled the world playing solo concerts and has won several awards including the Grand Prix du Disque for his solo recordings. Having retired from piano playing, Damase has now devoted his life to composition and teaching. He is currently on faculty at École Normal de Musique de Paris and continues to give master classes through out Europe and the United States.