Louis-Charles-Bonaventure Alfred Bruneau (1857 - 1934)
What a long name Bruneau has! His studies in music started so that he could take part in chamber music with his parents and he learnt 'cello. However by the age of 15 he had progressed so well, that he went on to study at the Paris Conservatoire, where he carried off the first prize for his playing. In his twenties he performed professionally with the Pasdeloup orchestra, whilst at the same time studying composition with Massenet (about whom he would later write a book). Bruneau’s reputation is founded on his several operas about class conflict and politics. He enjoyed a highly successful collaboration with the writer Emile Zola but this relationship had a detrimental effect on Bruneau’s career when his opera Messidor was banned from the stage because of their mutual support for Dreyfus during the famous trial. The Romance for flute was written for Taffanel, so typically its range is all quite low and adapts very well for the alto flute edition.