Taffanel and his legacy


Taffanel and his legacy

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  • Introductie: 2018-07-01
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Paul Taffanel was born on 16th of September 1844 in Bordeaux, France. He was only 15 years old when he was accepted in the class of Louis Dorus at the Paris Conservatoire, and barely six months after his entrance exam he won a Premier Prix, making him a graduate from the famous Conservatoire at the age of 15. He continued his flute studies with Dorus, but also developed wider musical talents. He received a Premier Prix for Harmony in 1862, as well as a Premier Prix for Composition in 1865.
In 1869 Taffanel became First Flute of the orchestra of the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, the most important orchestra in Paris, taking over the position from Dorus. Taffanel’s fame spread all over Paris, and even more so when he was also appointed First Flute in 1876 at the Opéra, the most highly regarded orchestra in France at that time.
Wherever he played, people were amazed by his uniquely incredible sound, great virtuosity, handling of breath and phrasing. Although he performed alongside other great players of that time, it was Taffanel’s playing that was often mentioned explicitly because of his craftsmanship, artistry, beauty of sound and remarkably different, new way of playing.
Taffanel’s single-handed significance in the birth and development of a new style of composing and playing of chamber music for winds can be traced through his membership of the Société National de Musique, the founding of his own Société de Musique de Chambre pour Instruments à Vent, an organization responsible for spreading the new style of composing and playing throughout Europe and further, his direct legacy in Barrère’s Société moderne des Instruments à Vent and similar societies in the US, as well as numerous other international societies based on these models.
Taffanel was not appointed professor of flute at the Conservatoire until 1894, but from this time on his fame as a teacher grew quickly, and more pieces were written for him and his students. He taught at the Conservatoire until not long before his death in 1908, making his career as a teacher rather short. Despite this, many of his students became very important flutists in their own right. They played, taught and wrote about the flute and flute playing, all strongly influenced by Taffanel. Among his students were George Barrère, Philippe Gaubert, Gaston Blanquart, Louis Fleury and Marcel Moyse.
From 2015-2017 I worked on my thesis “Phrasing slurs in French Chamber Music for flute and piano from 1871”, an effort in understanding the multiple implications of long phrasing slurs on performance practice in French chamber music for flute from 1871, focusing on the influence of Paul Taffanel, to which this CD belongs. The pieces you will hear are closely connected to Taffanel. They are either his own compositions, commissioned by or dedicated to him or to one of his students, who in their turn were sometimes composers themselves, dedicating their work to their great master.
The music on this CD is about Paul Taffanel and his legacy. He developed a new way of playing that evolved into the French School of flute playing that has spread all over the world. Closely connected to this, we owe him an important role in the creation of an entire repertoire for the flute; repertoire in which so much variety, elegance and endless use of color can be discovered. At least, that is the case for those musicians who make a serious effort to look very closely at that what was actually written; finding themselves discovering the overwhelming possibilities in the whole range of which the flute is capable, and hoping as a result to please their listeners.
Egbert Jan Louwerse



Oorspronkelijke releasedatum
01 juli 2018


Aantal stuks in verpakking
Mono of stereo

Overige kenmerken

Box set
62 g
Gezongen taal
Soort verpakking
Verpakking breedte
140 mm
Verpakking hoogte
125 mm
Verpakking lengte
6 mm



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