Flute Concerto in G Major, 1st movement
In this masterclass, Professor Silvia Careddu instructs student Agata Smeralda Petrognani on how to bring out the details and the style in Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G Major. Careddu emphasizes the importance of matching the articulation and phrasing with the harmony and the rhythm of the orchestral part. She also advocates for playing with a ‘solo-istic’ sound that is able to project over an orchestra without losing the light character the music requires.
Moreover, she points out several phrase structures common in Mozart’s works and shows the student how best to shape them, encouraging her to produce long musical lines. Though thinking in big gestures, the performer must still have a constant awareness of the small details within the phrase. Overall, Careddu highlights the joyous nature of this music and urges the student to find great enjoyment while performing it.
Using the orchestral part to make musical decisions.
Producing an articulation that matches the character of the music.
Creating longer phrases and varying repeated figures.
Maintaining the style through small details.
Producing a ‘solo-istic’ sound.
Mozart composed his Flute Concerto in G Major as part of a large 1777 commission from Dutch flutist Ferdinand de Jean. He never completed all the works expected of him, and even complained to his father about having to write “for an instrument [he could] not bear.” Regardless, the G Major Concerto has become one of the most important pieces in the flute repertoire, frequently played in both auditions and performances.
The first movement, Allegro maestoso, is noble in character and allows the flute to showcase lyricism, articulation, and technique. It is in sonata form with a double exposition first performed by the orchestra and then by the solo flute. The performer generally improvises or composes a cadenza to play before the final orchestral conclusion. The second movement, Adagio ma non troppo, is in a modified sonata form in the key of D major, and serves as an elegant and lyrical middle section to the concerto. Back in the home key, the delightful, playful Rondo: Tempo di Menuetto concludes the work.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this flute masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Silvia Careddu’s feedback and comments.
First Prize and the Audience prize at the 56th Concours International de Musique de Genève.
Silvia Careddu was born in Cagliari, Italy, and studied at the Conservatoire de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where she graduated with distinctions. Her career launched after she won the First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 56th Concours International de Genève. Following the award, Lorin Maazel invited Careddu to be the solo flute of his newly founded Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini. She later joined the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Wiener Symphoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker-Wiener Staatsoper, as principal flute.
In 2012, she became artistic partner of the Kammerakademie Potsdam, winner of the Echo-Preis 2015 for the category Best German Orchestra. As guest principal flute, Silvia plays with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and the Sinfonia Grange au Lac. Silvia is a founding member of the Alban Berg Ensemble Wien, a chamber music group made up of virtuoso instrumentalists.
She is highly demanded as a soloist and chamber musician, and has made an appearance at many esteemed music festivals, like the Schleswig-Holstein, the Festival des Arcs, the Bürgenstock Festival, the Australian National Academy for Music, and many more.
Moreover, Careddu is a professor at the Conservatoire – Académie Supérieure de Strasbourg HEAR, at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’ in Berlin, at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, and at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole based in Italy. She regularly gives masterclasses in Europe and Asia, and has served as juror for the Concours de Genève, the Nicolet International Flute Competition, the Premio Claudio Abbado, the Concours Maxence Larrieu, the Crussell International Competition, and the Prague Spring International Music Competition.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a great child prodigy of Western music and one of the most important musicians of Classicism. He wrote more than six hundred compositions and single-handedly developed and popularized the piano concerto. He was widely recognized during his lifetime, and is still regarded as the most universal composer in the history of classical music.
Born in 1756 to Anna Maria and Leopold Mozart in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s musical talents were recognized at an early age. By age four, the young prodigy began playing the harpsichord, and by five-years old he was composing pieces. The Mozart family would make several trips throughout Europe to exhibit the young boy and his sister’s sensational virtuosity with the harpsichord and violin.
In later years, Mozart would enjoy a flourishing career in Vienna. He frequently performed as a pianist and was regarded as the most outstanding keyboard player in the city. In addition to his career as a performer, Mozart established himself as a fine composer. In 1782, he wrote the opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which was very successful. Other renowned operas written by the rising composer included Le Nozze de Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and Cósi fan Tutte (1790).
The death of his father in 1787 may have marked the decline of Mozart’s career. He composed very few works, suffered many financial problems, and in 1791 during a visit in Prague for the premier of his opera La clemenza di Tito, Mozart became very ill. In his final days, Mozart was preoccupied with completing his final oeuvre : Requiem in D Minor, K. 626. Unfortunately, he was unable to complete this piece (it was later finished by his student Franz Xaver Süssmayr) as he passed away on December 5th, 1791 possibly of rheumatic fever, however the official cause is unknown.
Despite Mozart’s tragic early demise, the brilliant instrumentalist and composer left an unparalleled legacy. He was a gifted composer all around and wrote in every major genre including but not limited to symphonies, operas, solo concertos, sonatas, masses and more. His influence is wide and profound, and his music continues to be recognized and celebrated for its ingenuity.