BAR-OCT, 12 Baroque Masterpieces for Piccolo (Debora Rosti)
Bodinus, Boismortier, Braun, Blavet, Delusse, Mahut, Pepusch, Quantz: Bar-Oct, 12 pieces for piccolo from baroque repertoire
(Arr. by Debora Rosti) DV 20089 36 Pages
Shipment cost not included
(b ?1720–25; d after 1774). French composer, flautist and writer on music. The name Charles was supplied by Fétis; contemporary sources identify him by only his last name or by the initials D.L. Following Choron and Fayolle (1810–11) writers have confused his activities with those of the woodwind instrument makers Jacques and Christophe Delusse. Although the composer is designated as ‘Le Sr Delusse le fils’ in the earliest known reference to him (Mercure de France, June 1743), there is no demonstrable connection between him and the other Delusses and no contemporary reference to his activity in instrument making.
According to Gerber, Lusse was a flautist at the Opéra-Comique in about 1760, but neither his claim, nor Fétis’s statement that he entered that orchestra in 1758 is confirmed by contemporary sources. He may have been active earlier in Paris as a flautist and flute teacher since he published several works there for that instrument between 1751 and 1757. He also composed vocal music, including a one-act comic opera and numerous songs, and he edited the earliest collection of romances, which appeared in 1767. In the 1760s he produced three theoretical works: a flute method first published in late 1760 or early 1761, a proposed reform of solmization syllables using only vowel sounds, and the article ‘Musique’ for the collection of tables to Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. He may also have either written or published a dictionary of music, for in 1765 the Mercure de France announced that anyone interested in such a work should address himself to M. de Lusse. He is last mentioned in 1774.
Lusse was an important figure of the French flute school, particularly because of his experimentation with innovative techniques. His solo sonatas, all three-movement works, are full of brilliant effects and complex rhythms, dynamics and articulation markings. They exploit a higher range than previous French flute works, and the sixth sonata is the first to call for harmonics and double-tonguing. An explanation and table of fingerings for harmonics also appear in the collection – the latter more extensive than the one in Lusse’s flute method. His trios for flute, violin and cello are the earliest French examples of flute trios without a figured bass part. While the flute largely predominates in them, they are still somewhat conversational in style. Their slow movements possess a remarkable depth of feeling.
Lusse’s L’art de la flûte traversière, although not a lengthy treatise, has important discussions of ornaments, tonguing and vibrato. Moens-Haenen points out that its treatment of ornamentation and vibrato is similar to that of Geminiani’s The Art of Playing on the Violin (London, 1751). L’art de la flûte traversière also contains an important early example of progressive studies, preludes in 20 different keys and 12 long and difficult caprices or cadenzas ‘suitable for the exercise of the embouchure and fingers, that can also be used at the end of concertos’. These are the earliest independent cadenzas in French flute literature, and also mark the beginning of the true flute étude in France. There is also an Air à la grecque (ed. R. Rasch, Utrecht, 1984) featuring quarter-tones, for which Lusse supplied a fingering chart. At least one extant copy of the method also has a handwritten description of fingering on a six-keyed flute tipped into it.