Among the young British instrumentalists vying to pick up the mantles of the great soloists of a generation ago, flutist Katherine Bryan seems among the most promising, and she takes a major step forward with this, her second release. Her startlingly clear, bright articulation in the upper register is pleasing on its own, yet the real attraction here is that she approaches a repertory intelligently and brings fresh perspectives to it. The Flute Concerto (1993) of Christopher Rouse only seems to be the odd item in the set; Rouse's instrumental writing, with its intricate grasp of texture and register, is truly a descendant of the French (and French-Swiss) music on the rest of the album, and it was an inspired choice in terms of showcasing Bryan's technique as well. The three central movements have a memorial tone, with flute solos woven into Rouse's characteristically spacious chords, and Bryan has the stamina to stick with the long line here. Ibert's delightful Concerto for flute and orchestra (1934) receives an absolutely crackling performance from Bryan.
This is an excellent recording of Vivaldi's Flute Concertos ! The tempo is respected, the sound is clear and the concertos are beautifully played. It's so nice to relax with the sound of the flute ! My favourite piece is La Notte - Allegro ; such a great piece of music in the unique style of Vivaldi ! I recommend this CD to anyone who likes baroque music.
The Flute Concertos of C.P.E. Bach are among the most dramatic and engrossing of this important composer's works. This Bach was a major influence on Haydn and Mozart, but the music is worth hearing in its own right, and the Concerto in A Minor, which opens this set, is one of the masterpieces of its era. Gallois and the Toronto Camerata use modern instruments, but their performances are permeated by the sensibility of Bach's era. They are clear and forceful, responding beautifully to the pre-romantic elements in the music, and Gallois even adds appropriate embellishments to his playing. The Concerto in D Minor may not be the composer's own arrangement for flute, but it sounds convincing enough. This is certainly the best set of C.P.E. Bach's Flute Concertos since the long-deleted Rampal set for CBS, and the performances are markedly superior to those on a recent Black Box CD.-Leslie Gerber
When the German transverse flute found its place in Italy and was accepted by the Catholic church as a suitable replacement for the proscribed recorder, Antonio Vivaldi took to it with great enthusiasm. His flute concertos mark a point of departure, coming after he had completed his 40 bassoon concertos and virtually all of the string concertos. Although some of these pieces were reworkings of material previously composed for recorder, Vivaldi came to capitalize on new techniques he learned from Ignazio Siber, the flute instructor at the Ospedale della Pietà. Of Vivaldi's 15, the 7 flute concertos presented here were freshly written for the instrument. Each has a distinct character and the levels of virtuosity vary between them, but all are charming and rank among Vivaldi's freshest compositions. The most famous of these works is the expressive Concerto in D major, nicknamed "Il Gardellino," the only one of the flute concertos to be published in Vivaldi's lifetime. Flutist Janet See plays with a chaste tone, at times suggestive of the recorder's sound but more focused and controlled, especially in rapid passages. The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, under Nicholas McGegan's direction, gives delicate support and transparent accompaniment to set off See's buoyant performance.(Blair Sanderson)
It comes as no surprise that, a year after Rampal's death, James Galway should dedicate a disc to him. After all, Galway has always cited the Frenchman as his true mentor - and it was with Rampal that Galway first spied a golden flute. The recording actually happened over a year before Rampal died but appropriately enough contains concertos by the French Classical composer François Devienne, of whose music Rampal was a noted interpreter.