Today, August Eberhard Müller is mostly forgotten. Yet at the turn of the 19th Century, he was one of the most important musical figures in Germany.
As cantor of Thomaskirche, Leipzig, he performed cantatas by its most famous cantor, J. S. Bach. He was first chair flute of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, as well as a featured soloist. And, though self-taught, he was considered one of the greatest flutists of his time.
This release features three of his eleven flute concertos, two from the beginning of his career and one from its end.
The Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major dates from 1794, No. 3 in D major from 1796. Müller was an admirer of Mozart. These works could almost be companion pieces to Mozart’s flute concertos. The difference is in the solo part. Mozart may give the flute slightly better quality material, but Müller gives the instrument music that more perfectly suits it.
The Flute Concerto No. 10 in G major was premiered in 1809. Müller still used Mozart as a model. But that model had been greatly expanded and refined. This is a more expansive concerto and reminded me of late Haydn in style.
Tatjana Ruhland delivers spot-on performances. Her technique is virtually flawless. Her notes maintain a beautifully rounded tone throughout the instrument’s register. Ruhland plays with a light touch throughout, in keeping with the style of the music.
Not all of August Müller’s flute concertos survived. These performances make me want to hear the others that did.
August Eberhard Müller
Flute Concertos 1, 3 & 10
Tatjana Ruhland, flute
Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim; Timo Handschuh, conductor