Towards the end of his long life the organist Christian Michael Wolff (1707–1789), resident in the Baltic port of Stettin (today, Szczecin in Poland), achieved a degree of fame as a composer through the successive collections of sonatas, songs, flute duets and chorale preludes he committed to print. But much earlier, around 1740, he had produced some exquisite compositions for orchestra. Wolff’s Concerto in C major for flute, strings and basso continuo has the customary three movements (Allegro Moderato, Affettuoso, Allegro), all of which are extended in form and poetic in expression, often using striking dynamic contrasts and orchestral unison writing in a way that prefigures the Sturm und Drang of the 1760s. The third movement is a true ‘applause finale’, putting the soloist through some challenging technical hoops.
“I would highly recommend this concerto to any flute player wishing to explore what its editor describes as an ‘important contribution to the flute repertoire’: it is a beautiful, intelligent and well-proportioned work. It is a delightful find for any player who wishes to explore a concerto outside the traditional realms of Mozart or Vivaldi but does not want to compromise on quality. It provides plenty of variety, virtuosic challenges and melodic lyricism and is well worth exploring for performers and audiences alike.” (The Consort)
Music example (pdf)