flute therapy

22

Apr

2012

Drouet Petite Recreation Print E-mail
Written by Tom Moore   

The Petite Récréation - Quatorze Airs Français, Italiens, Russe, Etc., Variés pour Flûte seule par Drouet

Although Louis François Philippe Drouet was one of the most famous, widely traveled, and eminent flutists of the nineteenth century, his large and various oeuvre remains almost completely unknown to modern flutists (with the notable exception of his etudes). His life and works were the subject of a 1989 master's thesis at the University of Utrecht by George Overmeire, happily available over the web in its entirety, with an extensive and detailed works list1. The subject of this article, the Petite Récréation, is included there among the collective works, where it is listed as being published in Paris by Lemoine (and indexed by Rien de Reede in the Catalogue of Dutch Flute Music). The collection was also published as a set with the same title in Paris by Schonenberger, in two volumes of seven sets of variations each, with the plate numbers S. 282 and S 2832. Schoneberger's first advertisement was in 1830, with the address of Boulevart Poissonniére, 10, at which address he continued to do business until late 1841. These plate numbers indicate a date of 1835, more or less. However, the earliest references to the contents of this set (sold individually) suggest that they are in fact the very earliest published works by the composer, dating to 1813, if not earlier, since they are listed, all fourteen, an unusual number for a set, in the Bibliographie de l'Empire français (1813), the Bibliographie de la France (essentially the same volume, 1814), and the Bibliographie musicale de la France et de l'etranger (1822). Each individual set is sold for the price of one franc, 50 centimes. The set published by Schonenberger evidently made use of these earlier individual plates, since although the pages are sequentially numbered for each part (2-15, 2-15), the numbers for the individual pieces are out of sequence with their presentation in the two volumes. In the two volumes they appear as follows:

Vol. 1

p. 2-3

No. 11. Air delle Nozze di Figaro.

p. 4-5

No. 13 Romance d'Aline Reine de Golconde.

p. 6-7

No. 10. Barcarolle du Vaisseau

p. 8-9

No. 7. Ou Peut-on Etre Mieux.

p. 10-11.

No. 3. Air de l'Opera d'Aline.

p. 12-13

No. 6. La Suisesse au Bord du Lac.

p. 14-15.

No. 1. Le Roi Dagobert.

Vol. 2

p.2-3

N.5 Barcarole D'Aline

p. 4-5

N.14 Air des Maris Garçons

p. 6-7

N.9 Waltz Russe

p. 8-9

N.12 Air de Mr. Musard

p.10-11

N.8 Ronde Provençale de l'Opera d'Aline

p. 12-13

N.2 Air de la Reine Dagobert

p.14-15

N.4 Il etoit un p'tit home

Reordered by the numbers given, they are as follows:

No. 1. Le Roi Dagobert.

N.2 Air de la Reine Dagobert

No. 3. Air de l'Opera d'Aline.

N.4 Il etoit un p'tit home

N.5 Barcarole D'Aline

No. 6. La Suissesse au Bord du Lac.

No. 7. Où Peut-on Etre Mieux.

N.8 Ronde Provençale de l'Opera d'Aline

N.9 Waltz Russe

No. 10. Barcarolle du Vaisseau.

No. 11. Air delle Nozze di Figaro.

N.12 Air de Mr. Musard

No. 13 Romance d'Aline Reine de Golconde.

N.14 Air des Maris Garçons

This presumably is the original numbering for the publication as individual numbers in 1813 or before. Interestingly, the numbering is precisely the reverse of the order in which they are listed in the Bibliographie de l'Empire français (1813). Is this perhaps because they are listed there with the most recently appeared number first, and the older ones last? Some individual numbers survive with Duhan given as publisher3. No publisher is listed in the Bibliographie, although it is worth noting that earlier in the list there are items from Mme. Duhan, who appears at the same address later used by Schonenberger in publishing this collection. Her firm came to her from Florido Tomeoni, and her materials were later acquired by Schonenberger. She was certainly the original publisher of all of the items from this set. In addition to the two collective editions mentioned above, there also survives a partial Leipzig edition by C.F. Whistling, probably from the 1830s, titled Six airs variés pour la flute seule, liv. 1, and including Le bon roi Dagobert, Air de la reine Dagobert, La suissesse au bord du lac, Air delle Nozze di Figaro, Barcarolle d'Aline, and Il etoit un p'tit homme. It is worth noting that three of these selections (La Suissesse, and the two barcaroles) are still listed among the music for unaccompanied flute published by Ricordi in Milan in the 1855 catalog 4.

Drouet was born to a French father (a wigmaker) and a Dutch mother in Amsterdam in 1792. He seems to have extensive connections both with the Bonaparte family (Louis Napoleon, King of Holland gave Drouet a crystal flute in 1807, in addition to his salary – at age 15 – of 200 guilders per quarter), and the Bourbon dynasty, which he served after the restoration in 1814. His very earliest works with opus numbers seem to date from 1817, so this undated collection is at least four years earlier, when the composer was twenty, or twenty-one. It is similar to contemporary collections by Jensen and Kuhlau (Kuhlau's op. 10 was also published first in individual numbers before appearing as a set). There have been no twentieth or twenty-first century editions as yet.

Download Sources for the tunes in the set in PDF format.

Notes:

1. http://www.giorgioproductions.com/drouet/index.html

2Held as part of the Hitchcock Collection at Florida State University in Tallahassee. 

3. To my knowledge, the Barcarole d’Aline, Waltz Russe, Air de la Reine Dagobert, Air de Monsieur Mussard, and Air des Maris Garçons.

4. http://books.google.com/books

Tom MooreTom Moore is a journalist, musician, and translator living in Rio de Janeiro. He has recorded Telemann for Lyrichord (USA) and Boismortier for A Casa Discos (Brazil). He writes about music for BrazilMax, Musica Brasileira, 21st Century Music, Opera Today, Flute Talk, Sonograma, Early Music America, and other venues.