Paul Taffanel was not only awarded a premier prix for flute at the Paris Conservatory, but also made an intensive study of counterpoint, harmony and composition. The young composer wrote a number of fantasias for his own instrument in a virtuoso romantic style. Prior to William Bennett's CD recording of Taffanel's four large sets of variations, only the composer's Fantasia on themes from Mignon and another on themes from Freyschütz were known. These new editions give flautists access to the fantasias Jean de Nivelle and Françoise de Rimini, based on themes from the eponymous operas by L. Delibes and A. Thomas.
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).