Saverio Mercadante gained success and renown as an operatic composer during his lifetime, but at present, in an ironic twist of fate, his best-known work is a student project, six concertos for flute and orchestra, especially that in E minor, with its' daringly virtuoso rondo russo. Dating from 1813, when Mercadante was studying at the conservatory at Naples, it is modeled on a French concerto of the day but displays an effortless Italianate lyricism, confident use of the received forms, and even a few unexpected touches along the way. Mercadante's writing for the flute is idiomatic and is nicely highlighted by the strings-led accompaniment, lending credibility to the idea that Mercadante may have had himself in mind as the flute soloist. The Russian theme of the rondo is piped by the flute with a bit of a galop to it, accompanied by sharp little chirps in the orchestra. This is an extremely catchy theme, and it is no surprise that Mercadante does not stray far from it, even incorporating bits of it into otherwise unrelated episodes as the rondo speeds towards its conclusion. In this upload I've also added a section from a later concerto (1819), in D major, its' central andante, to be precise, which, with its' gentle melody and ornamentation for the flute over the strings' flowing lines (curiously, the piece is almost a throwback to the baroque period, with its' ABA structure), is a perfect "foil" for the jubilant rondo. Jean-Pierre Rampal plays these concertos with obvious affection and without affectation, as a review on "musicweb.com" puts it (by Patrick C. Waller), and I would agree completely with this assessment. Hope you'll enjoy :).