Five Great Classical Flute Concertos that aren’t by Mozart.

There are plenty of other lovely Classical flute concertos to explore. Here are five flute and piano arrangements of the best!

This blog was originally posted in 2016 and has been updated for 2023

Joseph Haydn: Concerto in D major for Flute and Strings

This little known D major Concerto by Haydn which has also been attributed to Leopold Hoffman is a great alternative to Mozart. Starting with a lovely Allegro moderato, this will challenge your low note projection and articulation. The beautiful Adagio has the flute melody floating above the orchestra and the closing Allegro molto alternates semiquavers and triplets to great affect. The string parts are straightforward making it an ideal choice for playing with the school orchestra and the flute writing is lovely rather than difficult – whoever wrote it! Difficulty Guide: 7

Friedrich Schwindel: Concerto in D major for Flute and Strings.

This is a lovely concerto. A bold opening Allegro gives way to a soft A major Adagio melody which lies in the upper part of the register. An ebullient Rondo brings the work to a happy conclusion. This is fun to play and will really engage both the audience and the players. It’s also ideal for playing with a school orchestra as the string parts a reasonably straightforward. Perfect! Difficulty Guide: 8

August Eberhard Muller: Flute Concerto in E minor Op 19.

Muller’s writing is dark and dramatic in this concerto which has twists and turns of harmony and an unexpected structure. The first movement changes frequently from minor to major, the slow movement uses the full compass of the flute to weave its melodic line, and Muller uses a theme and variations structure as a finale. This sparkles despite the predominant minor key, and you will need very good articulation to fully convey the character. It’s all very unusual and wonderful to play! Difficulty Guide: 7-8

Christoph Willibald Gluck: Concerto in G major for Flute and Orchestra.

Gluck’s concerto is an old favourite, and one of the best. The writing has a simple texture but there is plenty for a flute player to enjoy. You will need to be agile, as the Allegro non molto leaps around, and have a sustained sound to carry the long phrases in the beautiful Adagio. The final Allegro comodo is delightfully uncomplicated. The piano reduction works very well here so it also works well as a recital piece.  Popular for a very good reason! Difficulty Guide: 6-7

CPE Bach: Flute Concerto in D minor

If you like your music powerful, demanding and compelling then this magnificent D minor concerto is for you. The first movement is a workout, with long phrases demanding excellent breath control, tonguing and finger dexterity. The atmospheric slow movement has a melting tenderness, and the closing Presto is monumental. This is a standout virtuoso concerto that will have the audience on their feet! Difficulty Guide: 8-9





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