Variations sur un air hongroise
Composed by Carl Doppler
for Flute (or Violin) and Piano
Adapted and edited by Andras Adorjan
Published by Edition Svitzer
Duration: ca. 6 minutes
Includes score and flute part
Flute version in the separate solo part; violin part on demand.
Franz (1821-1883) and Carl (1825-1900) Doppler were among the best-known musicians of their time. They were both born in Lemberg but lived from 1838 in Hungary. They started their solo career in 1852 as a remarkable flute duo, playing jointly composed pieces. In 1858 Franz was appointed first flute and ballet conductor at the Vienna Hofoper, and in 1865 he also became a professor for flute at the Vienna Conservatory. In 1865 Carl was named music director at the Stuttgart Opera, where he stayed for more than thirty years as a popular Hofkapellmeister. Besides their flute music, which they had written jointly in their youth, both brothers left independently composed operas, stage and ballet music, which were played with great success for many years, but are entirely forgotten and remain unknown to this day.
It is rather a rarity to find a piece on a program composed by Carl Doppler alone. He was an extremely gifted but very modest person, who had composed little alone and didn't seek publicity. Apart from his 6-volume arrangement for flute and piano of popular Csardas-dances “Az ujabb magyar zene gyongyei” (Pearls of the newer Hungarian Music), no flute compostion of his own was published during his life. The source material for this first modern edition of his Variations sur un air hongrois was published by the Edition Rozsavolgyi (Budapest, 1860) in a volume of potpourris called “Les perles des operas” (Pearls of the Operas), which otherwise consists of only jointly arranged potpourris. As this and all further volumes have been out of print for more than 100 years, this chamber music of Carl has also remained unknown. Originally written for violin and piano it is well suited for being played on the flute and presents Carl as a composer equal to his brother. Even though the air hongrois has some resemblance to the beginning of Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. XIV, its indisputable source is the nostalgic folksong about homesickness “Mi fustolog ott a sikon tavolban” (What smokes there on the plain, far away?), which is also included in another volume of the same series of the Pearls of the Operas.
– Andras Adorjan
Munich, in December 2018