Overture and Quartetto from Lulu
Composer: Friedrich Kuhlau / arr. Henrik Wiese
Instrument: Flute Quartet
Duration: 11 min.
Arranged by Henrik Wiese
The music to Kuhlau’s Singspiel Lulu op. 65 (1824) is set to the same-named Danish libretto by the Carl Christian Frederik Güntelberg (1791-1842). The original story is based upon the fairy-tale Lulu oder die Zauberflöte (”Lulu or the Magic Flute”) (1789) by August Jakob Liebeskind, which also served as a basis for Emanuel Schikaneder’ds libretto of Mozart’s Magic Flute (1791). The characters Tamino, Sarastro, the queen of the night and Monostatos, which appear in Mozart’s opera, largely correspond to the characters in Kuhlau’s Singspiel, Lulu, Sidi, Dilfeng, Periferihme and Barca. Kuhlau’s work was a huge success. In 1829 he wrote to a friend: “This opera brings immense joy here [in Copenhagen], where it is performed especially well and was the most profitable work to have been performed at the royal theatre”. Decades later, Kuhlau's biographer Carl Thrane reported: “The opera entirely overwhelmed the audience with its beauty […] After a grand quartet the audience lets out an ongoing Bravo and a great cheer for the composer.”
The arrangement at hand was written in 2019 on the occasion of the 18th International Flute Competition Friedrich Kuhlau in Uelzen, Germany. It includes the Overture and the beginning of the Quartet No. 9 (Sidi, Lulu, Barca and Dilfeng), whose captivating flute solos remain frenetically acclaimed. Ideally one should switch from Piccolo to Alto Flute in the Quartet No. 9. The accompaniment consisting of two Alto Flutes and a Bass Flute is especially warm in its well-balanced blend of tone and harmony and allows the Solo Flute to shine more. Since another Alto Flute is not always at hand, the part can also be played on the flute.
The flute quartet Fleitjepiepen!, consisting of Clara Büchi, Katrin Fuss, Emma Hochschild and Luca Höhmann, performed the Overture and Quartet from the opera Lulu op. 65 together with the Overture to Røverborgen (”The Robbers' Castle”) WoO 129 in the final round of the competition mentioned above, and won a second prize in the categorie Flute Quartet.
Piccolo (doubl. Alto Flute or Flute)
About the composer +
Friedrich Daniel Rudolf Kuhlau (11 September 1786 – 12 March 1832) was a German-born Danish composer during the Classical and Romantic periods. He was a central figure of the Danish Golden Age and is immortalized in Danish cultural history through his music for Elves' Hill, the first true work of Danish National Romanticism and a concealed tribute to the absolute monarchy. To this day it is his version of this melody which is the definitive arrangement.
During his lifetime, Kuhlau was known primarily as a concert pianist and composer of Danish opera, but was responsible for introducing many of Beethoven's works, which he greatly admired, to Copenhagen audiences. Considering that his house burned down destroying all of his unpublished manuscripts, he was a prolific composer leaving more than 200 published works in most genres.
Front Cover design: Ronni Kot Wenzell
Engraving: Henrik Wiese
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark