In the course of the Industrial Revolution of the 19th and part of the 20th Century, taking on the name of age of technology, the new forces of mechanization also invaded the world of music by exalting virtuosity, especially among flutists, violinists and pianists. Virtuosity adopted a mark of its own: as for example, the French word encore, which maintains its meaning equivalent to the German Zugabe and to the already international BIS! was mentioned two centuries before in Joseph Addison's SPECTATOR. It originally meant an audience's request, for an aria or part of the program to be repeated instead of adding a new composition at the end of the performance, as is often done nowadays. The careers of a triumvirate of prominent flutist composers embraced an entire golden age of virtuosity throughout the 19th and part of the 20th Century. The magnetism of Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840), inventor of the fasci nating daemon virtuosity, influenced and entire array of flutists and virtuosi such as Giulio Briccialdi, Wilhein Popp, Ernesto Koehler, Theobald Bohem and Cesare Ciardi. In this same tradition, at the beginning of the 21st Century, James Strauss brings us a poetic program of unparallel virtuosity, like that of Pablo Sarasate on the violin. Strauss with the velvety sonority of his flute and the immensity of his vibrato emanates a hypnotic elegance in the Zigeunerweisen Op. 20 Sarasate's most popular composition and is a favorite among violin virtuosos. It has been recorded many times by such notable violinists as Zino Francescatti, Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Joshua Bell. Written in 1878 and premiered in Leipzig that year, Zigeunerweisen is based on themes of the Roma people, especially the rhythms of the czardas. On this album James Strauss performs his own transcription of the famous piece for flute and piano.
The French flutist and composer Louis Balleron (1869-1919) won the first prize of Paris Conservatory in Paul Taffanel's class, and later was principal flute of the Opera comique from 1900 to 1914, he recorded also Demersseman's Op. 7 variations on Carnival of Venice, composed several salon pieces for flute or piccolo and piano such as L'oiseau tapageur, Ode a Sainte Cecile, and he also composed an operetta Idylle au Maroc. The Chopinesque Romance et Bolero, was composed in 1900, and was modeled after the competition pieces of the Conservatoire. It is recorded for the first time on this album.
This next piece is a waltz called Passaros em Festa "Birds at a Party". It was written by Ernesto Nazareth in 1920 and is dedicated to Ernestina de Nazareth, his cousin. The introduction was explicitly inspired by Chopin, The brief section that is played high in the register sounds like chirping of birds. Pattapio Silva was one of the first Brazilian recording artists, working for the Odeon and the "Casa Edson". Many of his own compositions were edited and recorded by him. These include Evocação, Margarida, Primeiro Amor, Oriental, Sonho, Idílio, Zinha, Amor Perdido. In 1907 he went on a solo tour in the States of Minas, São Paulo, Paraná and Santa Catarina. It was in the city of Florianópolis (SC) that he contracted a serious illness and died just a few days later, aged 27. His two Nocturnes were discovered by James Strauss in 2007 and recorded here for the first time with the guest soloist Emmanuele Baldini. Fritz Kreisler is probably a name not known to many, but according to Strauss, 'I consider Fritz Kreisler to have been the last in a long line of great violinst-composers, which stretches back as far as Tartini and Corelli.' Because of the insight the violinist virtuoso brings to composition, there is a special feel to the music, for the violinist composer knows what the instrument is capable of in terms of tone, spirit, and technical expertise. One of the most distinguished and best loved violinists of all time, Fritz Kreisler was born in Vienna in 1875 and became a student at the Conservatoire at the age of seven. As a performer he was much admired for his wonderfully intense yet immaculately tasteful vibrato and his gloriously sensuous tone. Kreisler was also a composer of some note. He is best remembered for a series of brief encore pieces, well suited to the requirements of the recording studio at that time.Kreisler wrote a number of encore pieces in Viennese style (as Liebeslied, Schon Rosmarin recorded here) which are harder still And with the flute its not diferent. Here with a graceful elegance of our performers. When the young Italian violinist Antonio Bazzini (1818-1897) met the famous Italian virtuoso Paganini, the latter became a great influence. Bazzini left Italy and studied in Leipzig, devoting his time to learning Bach and Beethoven, but he toured all over Europe as a violin virtuoso. He was greatly admired by Schumann and Mendelssohn and eventually accepted a position at the Milan Conservatory, where he taught composition and influenced the great Italian opera composers Puccini and Mascagni, who were his pupils. His own music was known for its great virtuosic techniques. La Ronde des Lutins, Op. 25 is his famous fantasy written for violin and piano and has been a continued favorite with violin virtuosos.There is a long tradition of performers of various instruments transcribing and adapting successful pieces such as this. The violin and flute particularly make a habit of trying out each other's pieces.When the flute transcribes the violin part in this work, it becomes a showpiece for a fast display of double-tonguing and other articulation and tech- nical acrobatics. Here played with a very French detache and double Staccato who shows the heritage of our soloist from the Paris years. Grigoras Dinicu, never achivied the celebrity of Niccolo Paganini, was a very highly skilled violinist, after Jascha Heiftz, was the best violinist he had saw in life, he is remembered today only with 2 compositions , Ciocarlia and this "Hora Staccato" who represents an end or a milestone of the journey. This piece is brisk and energetic. The famous Ave Maria by Franz Schubert is No. 6 of Schubert's Liederzyklus vom Fräulein vom See (Song-cycle from 'The Lady of the Lake'), composed in 1825. It is listed as Ellens Gesang. III. Hymne an die Jungfrau (Ellen's song, III. Hymn to the Virgin), and it is often referred to as Elles dritter Gesang (Ellen's third song). Here the Strauss identifies himself so with the piece that he continually seems to create it, thus giving a natural and living breath. Initially Henri Wieniawski (1835-1880), a child prodigy, was taught by his mother, then by Jan Hornziel, the violinist of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw, and Stanislaw Seroczynski, the soloist and concertmaster of the Budapest Opera. In 1843, at the age of eight, Wieniawski went to Paris to study with Lambert-Joseph Massart at the Paris Conservatory, from which he graduated three years later, winning the first prize and a gold medal. As a composer, Wieniawski mainly wrote for the violin and produced some of the most challenging works in the repertoire.The Polonaise de Concert in D major, published by the time he was 18, is a work in which musical inspiration may have been, as critics later maintained, subordinated to the virtuoso's need to demonstrate his sheer technical prowess. However, the two Polonaises and two Violin Concertos hugely impressed European audiences, launching Wieniawski's international career as a violinist-composer. Here heard at the first time on flute .This great virtuoso-composer remains well respected today; in Poland his name is honored by international competitions for violinists and violin-makers, held every five years in Pozna. He is honored on Polish coins and postage stamps as well."Flight of the Bumblebee" is a famous orchestral interlude written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, composed in 1899–1900. The piece closes Act III, Tableau 1, right after the magic Swan-Bird gives Prince Gvidon Saltanovich (the Tsar's son) instructions on how to change into an insect so that he can fly away to visit his father (who does not know that he is alive). Although in the opera the Swan-Bird sings during the first part of the "Flight", her vocal line is melodically uninvolved and easily omitted; this feature, combined with the fact that the number decisively closes the scene, made easy extraction as an orchestral concert piece possible.Here in a danzzling performance. Vittorio Monti (1868-1922) an Italian born in Naples, composed ballets, operettas, pantomimes, as well as instrumental, vocal and violin pieces. Today, Monti is best remembered for writing Czardas.Monti studied violin at the conservatory in San Pietro at Majella, and composition with Paolo Serrao. He went to Paris in 1886 and became the concertmaster in the Lamoureux Orchestra. Later, he became a conductor in Paris.The Czardas is a Hungarian national dance in two movements, one slow and the other fast. It's interesting that most gypsy orchestras know and play the Czardas of Monti, a Neapolitan composer. Moreover, these dances are singularly the cause of Monti's fame.Hungarian folk music has made itself felt in the world of classical music. Great composers such as Haydn, Beethoven, Liszt, Dvorak, Brahms and Bartok have used the unusual rhythms, scales, and harmonies, in their compositions, often in final movements. The distinctive soulfulness of the music, a yearning quality, even a pathos, has intrigued and inspired great musical minds for more than 200 years.