Şefika Kutluer will play the recently rediscovered ‘Wendling Flute Concerto’ in at a festival this December.
A recently rediscovered flute concerto will be performed in Turkey as part of the seventh Şefika Kutluer Festival. The festival stars Turkish flautist Şefika Kutluer, who will be performing the ‘Wendling Flute Concerto’ with the Austrian Tutti Mozart Orchestra and conductor Vinicius Kattah.
Kattah founded the Tutti Mozart orchestra in 2015 with the intention of performing all of Mozart’s works on period instruments in a series of weekly YouTube videos, and it was apparently he who uncovered the score. “It has been in a library in Switzerland under the name ‘Wendling Flute Concerto’ and has never been performed,” said Kutluer in a report published by Hurriyet Daily News. “But the letter Mozart wrote to his father was discovered recently, and the work was understood to have been composed by Mozart. I am proud to be performing this work.”
The Wendling of the title refers to Mannheim flute player, Johann Baptist Wendling, who wrote a number of flute concertos and was considered one of the finest virtuosos of his time. “The work is considered lost in the literature,” said Kutluer. “The Tutti Mozart Orchestra had been searching for this concerto for a long time. Kattah worked like a detective, searching for all letters written by Mozart and his mother to his father.”
A reference to the concerto appears in a letter from Wolfgang to his father Leopold, dated November 22, 1777. But while the concerto is being touted as a lost Mozart flute concerto, the reality is probably more nuanced. “We received this forenoon (the 21st) your letter of the 17th. I was not at home, but at Cannabich’s, where Wendling was rehearsing a concerto for which I have written the orchestral accompaniments,” writes Mozart, suggesting perhaps that Wendling was rehearsing a concerto of his own for which Mozart had written the orchestral accompaniment.
In the present catalogue there are two extant flute concertos by Mozart, one in G Major, and one in D (which the composer repurposed from his Oboe Concerto). Nevertheless, according to Kutluer, Mozart’s ‘Wendling Flute Concerto’ has been gathering dust for 239 years and has never been recorded. “It’s a great honor to play such a concerto, and I feel very lucky,” Kutluer said.
She will perform the work on December 2 at Istanbul’s Zorlu Center with the Tutti Mozart Orchestra and Kattah, who intend to release the first CD of the work in early 2017.