Three weeks ago, my good friend Franz Doppler, the famous flautist and composer, died in Baden near Vienna at the age of sixty-three. When we first met, he was a bandmaster at a court opera house. He was invariably seen in front of the conductor's stand at comic operas and ballets in this beautiful theatre. He was also a professor of orchestration at the Vienna Conservatory. I had the pleasure to hear four of his operas (...) in perfect performance under his direction.
It is how the mention of Franz Doppler in The Theater: Monthly Review and Magazine begins, among biting reviews of events in English theatres and the latest rumours from the Italian royal court. There were reasons for these. Franz Doppler, born in Lviv, and his brother Karl established themselves as great flautists during their lifetime. To this day, they are considered the greatest virtuosos of this instrument in history. Therefore, it is no coincidence that their works were used by excellent soloists of our Symphony Orchestra – Joanna Kowalczyk and Filippo Del Noce.
We would like to describe the atmosphere of the Habsburg Empire at the beginning of the reign of Franz Joseph, but we must leave it for another time. Tall, handsome, dark-haired and with mesmerizing looks – the concerts of the Doppler brothers left an unforgettable impression, especially on the ladies of the company. Tucked into stiff corsets, an obligatory element of the contemporary outfit, they sent them longing glances in response to the emotional pieces that still remain the most popular in flute literature. Apparently, Franz was left-handed, which made the brothers appear as mirror images during performances. Excellent virtuosity and compositional talents led both of them to the top of their musical careers in 19th-century Europe.
The concert will feature pieces representative of the works of Franz Doppler. "Shepherd's Fantasy" is his most famous work and a milestone in flute literature, like "Aris Valaques", it is based on folklore melodies. In turn, the remaining compositions are lyrical-virtuoso pieces based on opera themes, showing the full potential of both the instrument and the performers!
It's Franz's 200th birthday, and besides, it's well written and extremely fun to play! – Joanna Kowalczyk told us. This enthusiasm is the best recommendation that we can add to the invitation to an evening together with the music of the Doppler brothers. And for those of you who would like to enjoy flute music for a much longer time, we recommend the extremely pleasant CD "Joanna and Rafał Kowalczyk – Sonatas for Flute and Piano" available in our store.
Philharmonics play chamber I DOPPLER