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Andantino from the Concerto in C major (K 299)
WA Mozart
arr. Ann Griffiths
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Cover image Work: Duet for Flute & Harp
Catalogue No: Adlais 104
ISMN: 979-0-57032-093-6
Edition: June 2006, A4 stapled, harp score & flute part
Suitable for: Grade 5 Flute & Lever or Pedal Harp
Price:: £7.00  Go to shop

Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp (K 299) was composed in Paris in 1778, in response to a commission from the Comte de Guines. A career diplomat, as Adrien-Louis de Bonnières de Sourastre, Duc de Guines, he had been appointed French Ambassador to London's Court of St James in 1774. Recalled to France in 1776, on his return he was elevated to the status of Count at the insistence of Marie Antoinette, of whom he was a firm favourite.

The Comte de Guines played the flute and his daughter played the harp. Having recently arrived in Paris on 28 March, the twenty-one-year-old Mozart was engaged to give the daughter lessons in composition, a discipline at which she proved to be a fairly inept pupil, though Mozart was generous enough to describe her harp playing as 'magnifique'. It is more than likely that her harp teacher was J B Krumpholtz, and it is also more than likely that she played a single-action harp by Naderman, with whom her teacher Krumpholtz was closely associated. What is unlikely is that the Concerto was ever performed by the Comte and his daughter – there is no record of any such performance, and in fact, five months later Mademoiselle de Guines had abandoned the harp and married the Duc de Castries, the unfortunate Mozart receiving only three gold louis (half the sum he was owed) as payment for the 24 two-hour lessons he had given her.

For almost a hundred years the Concerto lay unheard and unseen, until finally, discovered in Berlin by Walter Stuart Broadwood, it was brought to the attention of John Thomas (Pencerdd Gwalia), at that time Harpist to Queen Victoria. He took part in the first performance in modern times at a Philharmonic Society Concert on 14 May 1887, and, with a nice sense of timing, edited it for publication the following year, 100 years after it was composed.

Original classical concert duos for the combination of flute and harp are rare, and Adlais's aim in presenting this edition of the Andantino from Mozart's Concerto (the only surviving manuscript, in Cracow, Poland, calls it a 'Concertante') was to extend the available repertoire for flute and harp, and to provide a useful recital item in a form which could be played by a duo, without orchestra. Starting at bar 58, bar numbers have been left as in the original edition, so that when the orchestral accompaniment is in place and the performers are concerto soloists, they can still play the Concerto without changing a note of the edition presented here. A favourite cadenza can be inserted from the wide available choice.

The flute part has been edited by Jane Groves, whilst the harp part has been edited by Ann Griffiths. With minimal modification (bars 64, 86, 102,112), the harp part can be played on Celtic or lever harp.

© Ann Griffiths 2006


Front cover of the score

Sample of the music