This edition is a reprint of the original 1893 piano reduction version of Peter Benoit's Symphonisch Gedicht (Symphonic Poem) for flute and orchestra. The work was originally composed in 1865, and according to his manuscripts, the original title of the work was "Symphonic Concerto." Thus, our editors have decided to honor that name with the more standard title "Flute Concerto." For ease of rehearsal and performance, measure numbers and rehearsal letters have been added to the score and solo part.
Peter Benoit, one of the great Flemish Romantic composers and often considered the origin of the Flemish School, was better known for his piano and choral music than for his wind music. Nevertheless, his one entry into the flute repertoire - the Concerto - is an exemplary piece of high Romanticism that combines symphonic writing with idiomatic, virtuosic flute technique. Composed as part of a ‘legendary triptych’ - the Stories and Ballads for Piano, the Symphonic Tale for Piano and orchestra, and the Flute Concerto - the three movements show the Concerto for the tone poem it is at heart. The first Preludium (Will-o’-the-Wisps) begins with a fiery orchestral fanfare, with an equally grand entrance by the soloist that introduces the first theme and launches the movement into the formidable back-and-forth between soloist and orchestral forces. The second, Melancholia, somewhat resembles the Molique Andante in its construction - a clear, wistful theme is embellished and carefully expanded into a full musical showpiece for flute. The Finale (Dance of the Wisps) then immediately launches into a display of the flutist’s agility, moving through various permutations of the theme before coming to an exuberant, grateful landing.