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August Eberhard Müller (1767-1817) was one of the most accomplished German baroque composers of his time. His father, who was a fine organist at Rintein, was his first instructor. In 1785 he went to Leipzig to study law, but soon gave it up for his love of music. In 1789 August became organist at St Ulrich's church in Magdeburg, and three years later he was chosen to organize and direct concerts in Berlin. While there he struck an intimate friendship with Johann Fasch and other distinguished men, something that served him well to further his career. In 1794 he was appointed organist at the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig, during which time his ability as a harpsichordist came to the fore.
Müller was also a proficient flute player, and this was instrumental in enhancing his fame even more. In 1800 he was appointed deputy to Johann Adam Hiller at the Thomasschule and assistant Kapellmeister at Thomaskirche, and from 1801 followed the same Hiller as Thomaskantor. From 1810 Müller was musical director at the Weimar Court. The composer was greatly esteemed by Beethoven and valued by Goethe for his energy when he was in charge of the music in Weimar. He was also renowned for his propagation of the music of Haydn and Mozart and for his much reprinted thesis Klavier und Fortepiano Schule, published in 1804. Müller also wrote two papers on the technique of flute-playing which served future generations to widen the possibilities of the instrument.
As an independent composer for the flute, Müller left eleven concertos and other showpieces with orchestra, duos, solos and sonatas in addition to his adaptation of the clarinet concerto which was published in parts in 1801. Other works include concertos, keyboard and chamber music and various vocal works. His early style is Mozartian, but his later pieces, particularly for piano, are more virtuoso and full of beautifully crafted melodies.
Listen — Müller: Allegro (Flute Concerto No 5 in E minor, Op 19)
(555 403-2 track 1, 2:53-3:48) ℗ 2022 Classic Produktion Osnabrück :
The three concertos on this second CPO volume dedicated to this particular repertoire show once again the composer at his most inventive streak. Indeed, these are pieces full of sparkling moments, intricate passagework and wistful orchestration.
Listen — Müller: Andante grazioso (Flute Concerto No 7 in D minor, Op 22)
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Above all, the soloist is assigned some lovely pages; elegant, virtuosic, warmhearted and, most of all, captivatingly melodic.
Listen — Müller: Allegro molto (Flute Concerto No 8 in F, Op 24)
(555 403-2 track 9, 7:07-7:52) ℗ 2022 Classic Produktion Osnabrück :
Müller performed these concertos himself, so he knew exactly what he wanted and how to achieve it. Tatjana Ruhland has come in for high praise following the release of Volume 1 of these concertos, and I cannot hide my sincere admiration for these awesome renditions brimming with a technical mastery that sweeps you off your feet. She is, in every sense of the word, a 'sorceress' of the instrument, who is able to weave wave after wave of enchanting delights. Handschuh and his team lend sympathetic support from start to finish. Five-star on all levels.
Copyright © 22 March 2022