“It is uniquely thrilling to be the lone flute player in a performance of Mozart 40. All the other wind parts are written for pairs of instruments, the strings are similarly paired – violins 1+2, cellos and basses, and the richly divided violas at the start.
So the flautist’s role feels like that of a musical chameleon; sometimes a colour blending with violins or winds, elsewhere breaking into tender solo sighs or joyful frolics (often paired with the first bassoon in this work). After the bad-tempered Minuet it is blissful to blend with the other winds in the peaceful and optimistic trio – soaring high in an oasis of G Major, what a relief! Then it’s back to the turmoil of G minor… though the flute has the last cheeky word.
My favourite moment is at the recap of the first movement, where the orchestra, having almost torn itself apart in agonising screams, seems to surrender to tragedy; the flute leads a heart-breaking downward chromatic slide back to the inevitable.”
"The flautist's role feels like that of a musical chameleon."