Review of Duetto No1 Eugène Walckiers
I love playing duets.
When I was a student , the highlight of the end of any school term would be when my teacher, Margaret Crawford would pull out the Kulhau duets and we would play through as many as possible. I loved how technically challenging they were and I have used them ever since with my own students.That means I've been playing the same Kuhlau duets for 35 years!! It's time for some new material.
The duets of Eugène Walckiers are similar in that they are technically challenging, and a lot of fun for players of varied standards - you can play them at a moderate tempo or go full pelt. I have played them with my adult amateur (she said it was pretty...we did it very under tempo!) and an ambitious high school boy (who thought they were corny but wanted more), and a university student (she needs to do a lot more sight-reading...I must get more of these). The most fun will be to play with a with a colleague up to full speed and really live dangerously!
The Facsimile Edition of Duetto No.1 from Three Concertante Duets was sent to me by it's publisher, Noteworthy Sheet Music. I am so grateful that Noteworthy is preserving these pieces, originally printed by Paine and Hopkins, 69 Cornhill, London, and re-issuing them in this aesthetically very pleasing form.
Reading from the facsimile is a delightful compliment to the style of the music. I find it helps me get in the "mood" to play this type of mid 19th Century music. Rather than perfect but soul-less modern printing , we have the opportunity to play from what the original "sight-readers" of this music would have seen. Old fashioned crotchet rests (which appear as backwards quaver rests) and stalks on the wrong side of some of the minims only add to the charm and cause no problems at all.
Eugène Walckiers (1793-1866) was a Flemish flute player and composer and there is interesting biographical information contained within the publication.
This duet has two fairly substantial movements, an Allegro Brilliante and an Aria Con Variazioni, which culminates in an hilariously exciting finale at minim = 80.
2011 Facsimile Edition by Noteworthy Sheet Music , LLC