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Three composers can be heard on this recording: Jean-Louis Tulou (1786-1865) and two of his students, Jules Demerssemann (1833-1866) und Jean Donjon (1821-1912). Tulou and Demerssemann have left behind countless concertos and virtuosic solo pieces. In addition, it should be highlighted that between 1832 and 1860, every obligatory test piece for the yearly exam at the Paris Conservatoire was composed by Tulou. When selecting the music for this recording, however, these test pieces did not really come into consideration. Instead, we chose two types of piece: those composed for the music connoisseur, such as the Petite fantaisie poétique or the Boléro by Demerssemann; and those based on virtuosic opera arias, rewritten in 'simple' versions for flute and piano for performance in the Parisian salons, like Tulou's La Cavatine de Zelmira (in effect, a piano concerto with flute accompaniment) or Le café du roi. Demerssemann's L'hommage à Tulou ends in wild variations that contrast with the beautiful, unpretentious melodic lines, which fit Godfroy's flute well. Tulou's Duo Conertant op. 72 for two flutes mixes light music with serious passages that betray the influence of Beethoven. In the score of Demerssemann's Deuxième Sonate op. 23, the tempi, character and nuances are indicated with great precision, thus providing fascinating evidence for interpretation and playing style at that time, even if simultaneously restricting modernday artistic expression. Lastly, we have included some Etudes de salon et solos ou caprices pour la flûte seule by Jean Donjon, an advocate of the new Boehm flute and therefore a representative of the transition into the new era. In addition to the musical concerns which governed the selection of the repertoire, it was also important to me to interpret these works on a historical instrument, thus enabling me to explore the diverse sounds and complete tessitura of the instrument. Historical fingering charts preserved in contemporary flute tutors were also instructive.
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AMAZON: Jean-Louis Tulou et ses élèves: La flûte romantique à Paris