en-Fantaisie sur Madame Butterfly (2 flutes and piano)


The second opus of the arrangements devoted to the works of a composer still too little explored by flautists, this new Fantaisie sur la Madame Butterfly by Giaccomo Puccini continues its foray into the heart of the style of opera paraphrases, a genre very popular in the salons of the second half of the 19th century.

Building on the successes of Bohème and then of Tosca, Puccini was no doubt far from imagining the reception that the public of La Scala in Milan would reserve for his Madame Butterfly for his creation, on February 17, 1904. At the height of the agitations that had taken place Apart that evening, the public responds to the delicate birdsong of the Intermezzo with caricature imitations of farmyard noises. Marked by this resounding failure, which the composer himself describes as a "real lynching" organized by the detractors of the publisher Ricordi, Puccini reworked his opera four times. In particular, he divides the 2nd act into two distinct parts, allowing the emergence of a third act. Henceforth more in conformity with the standards of Italian opera, the work manages to impose itself on the international stages.

Among the sublime arias that still contribute to the success of this opera today, you can recognize the duet between Pinkerton and Sharpless, the love duo at the end of the 1st act or the flower duo presented in the form of virtuoso variations.

Unlike the Western Flute Suite (Fantasy on the Fanciulla del West), very steeped in typically American themes, the Fantasy on Madame Butterfly makes a slight nod to Japanese-inspired music (theme of tragic fate) , focusing more on Western themes. Polyphony as a musical symbol of the West, with the initial fugue for supreme incarnation, easily lends itself to writing for an intrumentarium whose repertoire, although underdeveloped, remains very popular with flautists.

Paris, February 26, 2021

Laëtitia Brault et Jean-Christophe Maltot

Arrangement : Jean-Christophe Maltot

Duration : 11'


Translation : "Another fantasy set to tunes from an opera by Jean-Christophe Maltot, this time inspired by the tunes of Madame Butterfly by G. Puccini. Just as in the fantasies presented in the previous Traversière Magazine, the writing is intelligent, careful and highlights the performers. A demanding score whose performance by two flautists who master their instrument will certainly trigger thunderous applause."

Jean-Luc Abras, in Traversière Magazine ,°149 - 2e Trimestre 2024