Johann Wilhelm Wilms (1772–1847) 2 Sonatas Op. 18
edited by Luc van Hasselt and Ernst A. Klusen [fl,pno]
Composer, pianist, flutist, teacher – Johann Wilhelm Wilms, was a much-admired and highly versatile musician in Amsterdam during the Beethoven era.
60 pages | 23 x 30,5 cm | 248 g | ISMN: 979-0-004-48850-8 | Softcover
Throughout his life, Johann Wilhelm Wilms was committed to a musical idiom rich in dynamic dialogues. In the domain of flute literature, he left an uvre which always reflected his precise knowledge of the instruments and granted to all participants a well-balanced share in the musical activity. This is splendidly confirmed by the two Sonatas op. 18. Two contemporary prints are the main sources for the present edition.
A significant composer, an exceptional pianist, a talented flutist, an experienced teacher – Johann Wilhelm Wilms was nothing less than predestined to enrich the already abundant flute literature of his time with several more outstanding works. <br>Baptized in Witzhelden near Solingen on 30 March 1772, Wilms died in Amsterdam on 19 July 1847. His life encompasses exactly the era in which the flute – his second instrument – underwent a development from Baroque flauto traverso to the prototype of the modern Böhm flute. It was the period when Viennese classicism was reaching its culmination and the label of “immortality” was already being appended to certain works of the young romantic movement. <br>Wilms’ works for the flute – concertos, concert pieces and chamber music – are anything but the products of a composing flutist; on the contrary, they are the works of a composer who was just as familiar with the flute as with the orchestra on the whole and, of course, with the piano. When Wilms left his native Rhineland in the summer of 1791 to settle in Amsterdam, he conquered the trend-setting circles of the city with his amazing piano improvisations – just like his fellow Rhinelander and contemporary Beethoven in Vienna. This marked the beginning of his career as a piano soloist, which lasted a good thirty years. His work as an orchestral flutist, however, was also instrumental in ensuring his livelihood from the very start. <br>Throughout his life, Wilms was fascinated by all matters concerning sound, including innovations in the construction of instruments. As a composer, he was tirelessly committed to a musical idiom rich in dynamic dialogues. Also in the domain of flute literature, Wilms left an oeuvre which always reflected his precise knowledge of the instruments and granted to all participants a well-balanced share in the musical activity. <br>This is splendidly confirmed by the two Sonatas op. 18. Two contemporary prints, each consisting of a separate flute part and a separate piano part, are the sources for the new edition presented here. The first was published in 1813 by Hofmeister in Leipzig with the plate number 232: <i>DEUX SONATES </i>| <i>pour le | Pianoforte | avec Accompagnement de la | Flûte obligé | composées | par | J.W.WILMS | Membre de l’Institut à Amsterdam. | Oe.18. </i>[…] <i>| A LEIPZIG, | chez Fred. Hofmeister</i>. The edition released by Steup in Amsterdam was probably printed earlier: <i>Deux Sonates </i>| <i>pour | Pianoforte | avec Flute obligee. </i>| <i>Composees | par | J.W.Wilms. | Oeuvre 18.</i>|<i> á Amsterdam chez H.C.Steup. </i>| <i>au Magazin de Musique | Kalverstraat N°171. | N°56 (en Commission)</i> […]. <br>We have also consulted a contemporary non-autograph copy of the first sonata whose title page, however, was written by the composer himself, and quite floridly at that: <i>Sonate </i>| <i>pour | Piano Forte & Flute composée & dediée | á | Mademoiselle C.J.S.Berck | par | J.W.Wilms</i>. The title page was later supplied with the false addendum “opus 33” by an unknown hand. This manuscript also consists of separate flute and piano parts. Compared with the two printed editions, this copy is only of minor importance as a critical aid in making editorial decisions, owing to its extremely sparing use of slurs, dynamic markings and staccato signs. <br>Since the music text of both prints diverges only minimally, it can be considered as sufficiently authoritative. Only in the use of staccato signs is there a marked distinction: while the Steup print uses almost exclusively wedges, Hofmeister places practically only dots. <br>Even if the rare alternation between the two signs occasionally makes sense, it is impossible to detect a stringent, systematic differentiation of dot and wedge in either print. It was assumed that the performer would know how the staccato sign was to be interpreted in each case, according to the character of a passage and the fashion of the times. Since any attempt to differentiate systematically between wedge and dot today would represent an interpretative suggestion that is nowhere legitimated by any indication stemming from the composer, we have decided to reproduce all staccato signs exclusively as dots. <br>Slurs were only added when parallel passages provided substantial justification. In rare cases we have opted to supplement cautionary accidentals. Repeated measures supplied with repeat signs were essentially written out, and outdated spellings of performance markings were modernized. Only occasionally did we change the appearance of the music text to make it easier to read. Thus, for example, in the piano part of the Rondo in the second sonata, the middle voice from measure 72 on was transferred to the lower staff, in agreement with measures 80ff., which made it necessary to notate the left hand in the treble clef from measure 71 on. Trill terminations were supplemented in a part when the concurrent musical activity in the other part demanded a correspondence. <br><br>Bonn /Amsterdam, Spring 2008