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JULES DEMERSSEMAN
1833 - 1866

Concerto italien,
(also known as Sixieme Grand Solo de Concert, opus 83)
 1865

arranged by Mark Starr
for flute solo and symphony orchestra

flute part edited by Isabelle Chapuis




link to biography of Jules Demersseman





A demo recording of this arrangement -- realized with digital musical sounds -- will begin to play automatically upon opening this page.  The audio may take from several seconds up to a minute to load -- depending on the speed of your internet connection.  If you do not wish hear it, please click on the STOP button (or PAUSE button) on the media player, below.  Also, you may wish to adjust your volume control to a more comfortable level.




 

 

During his short life (1833-1866) and brilliant career, Jules Demersseman was known in Paris as "The Paganini of the Flute." When you listen to this work, you will understand why his contemporaries bestowed this nickname upon him.  He was undoubtedly the foremost flutist of his time.

Demersseman was appointed professor of flute at the Paris Conservatory in his 20s, succeeding his maître Toulou.  However, Demersseman played a wooden flute with just a few keys on it.  At just this time, the new Boehm fingering system for the flute was sweeping Europe.  And, coincidentally, Auber was appointed Director of Paris Conservatory.  Auber directed that Demersseman change to a modern flute with the Boehm fingering mechanism.  Demesseman refused, stating that he could play anything on his old flute, and play it all in perfect tune.  Auber summarily fired him.  Demersseman went on to make a spectacular career as a soloist.  And without the daily burden to classes, he composed a large number of virtuoso works -- not only for the flute, but also for clarinet, oboe and the newly-invented saxophone.

Just like Paganini, Demersseman was also a remarkable composer.  His Concerto italien is a minor masterpiece of 19th. C. virtuoso music.

Up until now, this work was available only in a transcription for flute and piano, known as the Sixieme Grand Solo de Concert. This new orchestration by Mark Starr, for flute and opera-sized orchestra, now makes the piece playable by soloists in concerts with orchestra.


 

 

A young flutist

 (detail from an anonymous 17th Century Italian painting)



ORCHESTRA:

 

piccolo; 2 flutes; 2 oboes; 2 clarinets; 2 bassons

4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba

timpani

percussion: triangle, tambourine basque, snare drum

strings (set includes 8,7,6,6,4)

 

Performance time runs about 12 minutes.

The full score for Mark Starr's arrangement of  Demersseman's Concerto italien  is available online for perusal, audition, purchase, downloading and printing.  Here is a link to the full score:

 

http://www.sibeliusmusic.com/index.php?sm=home.score&scoreID=100044

 

Orchestral parts are available on rental from Noteworthy Musical Editions for public performances and/or commercial recordings.