Reviews

Concert Review: Gonjiam Flute Festival (Hurel, Koyama, Wiese)

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in April 2018, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Concert Review: Gonjiam Flute Festival (Hurel, Koyama, Wiese)

The evening concert on February 21, 2018, at the Gonjiam Festival was enchanting. Juliette Hurel opened the performance with Takemitsu’s haunting, “Voice” followed by “Afternoon of a Faun." Hurel’s exquisitely voluptuous tone provided a beautiful landscape for the the flowing melodies, transporting the audience into the mythical world as painted in Debussy’s deft imagination.  Her evocative musicality and nimble fingers gave the Ropartz Sonate an electrifying finish to her portion of the program.       Yuki Koyama presented a Leclair's Sonata in E minor with grace and elegance, followed by Taffanel’s Fantasy on “Der Freischultz." Koyama’s impressive technique and ravishing sound left the audience dazzled by his performance.  A very impressive performance by Japanese flutist, Yuki Koyama.      Henrik Wiese played the Schubert Variations “Trockene Blumen” with exceptional sensitivity and with a dynamic spectrum of colors.  Wiese’s phrases were both gossamer delicate, as well as raging with power; each line placed with careful, and thoughtful insight.  Wiese presented the Prokofiev Sonata with a completely different palette, transforming with each movement, leaving the audience in suspense, and with a hunger for more.  Henrik Wiese is a consummate musician whose breathtaking colors, thrilling technique, and thorough musical analysis, make for a magnificent performer. --Viviana...

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Anne-Katherine Heinzmann: Album Review

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in April 2018, CD Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Anne-Katherine Heinzmann: Album Review

Degenerate Flute Music Rediscovered Anne-Katherine Heinzmann, Flute and Thomas Hoppe, Piano A few years ago Anne-Katherine Heinzmann released a CD of “Suppressed Music” – music by composers who were persecuted and/or murdered by the National Socialists (Nazi’s) because of their religion or family origin, who as Jews, Heinzmann said “contributed decisively to the sophistication and welfare of Europe.” Although none of these composers were French, their styles were highly influenced by French Modernism, jazz and neo classicism of various types. Heinzmann is a brilliant flutist, performing and teaching throughout the world. She is professor of flute at the University of Music, Nuremberg, leads numerous master classes, and has performed with leading chamber musicians and soloists internationally, including Leonard Hokanson, Miriam Fried, with the BBC Proms, at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, and as Deputy Solo Flutist at the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra. Her playing is exquisite and she performs each work on the CD with perfect understanding, style, gorgeous tone, and with beautiful, musical coordination with her excellent pianist Thomas Hoppe. Included on the CD are the Erwin Schulhoff Sonata, Leo Smit Sonata, Hans Gal Drei Intermezzi, Gunter Raphael Sonata, and Alexandre Tansman Sonatine.  All of these works are a welcome addition to the flute repertoire, and I was glad to hear the Tansman, Gal, and Raphael for the first time. Tansman, Raphael and Gal all survived the war in exile, while we sadly lost Schulhoff and Smit. All the works reflect a tonal 20th century style and are each engaging and well crafted. Of the pieces I didn’t know beforehand (and you may not know either), I love the Tansman for its cheerfulness and the Raphael for its structural and harmonic complexity. These are wonderful pieces to add to our repertoire, and they benefited from the virtuosity and insight of Anne-Katherine’s playing! The CD is available on Audite and was nominated for the “Preis der Deursche Schallplattenkritik.” www.AnneKatherineHeinzmann   --Barbara...

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Demarre McGill plays Kevin Puts Concerto: Concert Review

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in April 2018, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Demarre McGill plays Kevin Puts Concerto: Concert Review

Shortly after returning from East Asia, I heard Demarre McGill perform Kevin Puts' Flute Concerto (2013) at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony. McGill is Principal flute of the Seattle Symphony and acting assistant professor at CCM. He has performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and Buffalo Philharmonic, and received an Avery Fisher career grant. I loved this performance. McGill gave a beautiful, refined rendition, full of delightful surprises, with complete understanding of the composers ideas, most especially in the 2nd and 3rd movement. In the 2nd, which Puts says, “was written during a period in which I was rather obsessed with the second movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K.467.”  Puts quotes themes of the piece fully and piecemeal in the movement and McGill helped us feel the humor in the choice! In the 3rd movement, I loved the way McGill had an energetic conversation with the winds, brass and percussion, exposing the terrific timbre that was created between the instruments. The orchestra is made up of young, very accomplished players between the ages of 12 and 22, and they played extremely well, with energy as well as great sound and interpretation, led by their excellent young conductor, Michael Repper for whom they played enthusiastically. The large audience gave Demarre a resounding ovation for his beautiful, stellar performance. --Barbara...

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Zara Lawler and The Flute on its Feet: Concert Review

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Concert Reviews, Featured, February 2018, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Zara Lawler and The Flute on its Feet: Concert Review

On Sunday December 3rd, interdisciplinary flutist extraordinaire Zara Lawler welcomed us to her workshop/concert presented by the NY Flute Club at Mannes College's Glass Box performance space in NYC. Lawler’s mission is to explore and celebrate the interconnectedness of life and human experience through her performances that integrate music, dance, theater, and storytelling. She offered this workshop/concert as a way to reveal the craft behind her style and to bring us into the process along the way. The concert introduced us to a new work in progress by composer Jessica Meyer, to Fadoul and Lawler’s Dust Jacket, based on the blurbs inside flaps of books and their hilarious take on modern consumer culture as well as collaborative works with choreographer Neil Parsons – TimeFrame, and Berio’s Sequenza and Fantasies take on Telemann Fantasia’s. The performances were amazing- opening us up to new ideas, and stretching our conception of classical and new music performance; they are virtuosic and they also make us laugh. Often flute concerts have a vaguely repetitious feeling...I mean, how many times can we hear the same repertoire over and over?—(a lot I’m guessing). But, in “The Flute on its Feet,” Lawler shows us another approach to standard repertoire and new music, one that expands the possibilities of performance and communication if we are willing to try. And so, in the workshop section of the event, we got to try too. We paired off with our neighbors and experienced the trust needed to lean into each other (and then play the flute), and we created riffs based on physical movements- like Zara does in a number of pieces. We were asked to stretch ourselves a bit beyond our comfort zones, and for some it was a challenging but also fun request! As always, Zara played beautifully, even as she moved strenuously. It was a virtuosic and inspiring performance in so many ways.  If you have a chance, try and see her soon. The Flute on its Feet with Zara Lawler   A workshop/concert featuring: Zara Lawler, flute Paul Fadoul, percussion Jessica Meyer, composer Choreography by Neil Parsons and Melissa Riker www.zaralawler.com --Barbara...

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Jocelyn Aubrun: Album Review

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in CD Reviews, Featured, February 2018, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Jocelyn Aubrun: Album Review

1943 Works for Flute and Piano, Jocelyn Aubrun flute, and Aline Piboule piano. While WWII was raging, people were fighting and scattering throughout the world, composers were still writing beautiful works for flute and piano. This album features works by five composers, two major repertoire pieces, and three lesser known works all written in 1943. They are exquisitely played by Jocelyn Aubrun and his excellent partner Aline Piboule. Aubrun has been principal flutist with the Orchestre National de Lyon since 2006 and has had many concerto and chamber music performances worldwide. He plays with a beautiful, focused tone, outstanding accuracy, perfect articulation, and a clear love of the music he is performing. Aubrun is a lovely player, musical, and a perfect accompanist. Even the Piboule is an accomplished soloist herself. They are a unified team, perfectly matched in style and interpretation. The major repertoire works on the album are the Prokofiev Sonata and the Dutilleux Sonatine, and the lesser known works are Sonata da Camera by Marius Flothuis (1914-2001), Sonatine by Claude Arrieu (1903-1990), and Sonata by Leo Smit (1900-1943). All three of these pieces would make an excellent addition to our standard repertoire; they are idiomatic and mostly reflect the influence of 20th century French style, whether Milhaud and Honegger, or in early genre of electroacoustic music with Musique Concrete. I especially enjoyed the Sonata by Leo Smit, whose life was cut short when he died at Sobibor Camp in 1943 (shortly after finishing this Sonata). Give a listen to this well curated and very thought- provoking album. Available on Artalinna Label www.jocelynaubrun.fr --Barbara...

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Molly Barth: Album Review

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in CD Reviews, December 2017, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Molly Barth: Album Review

  This album includes seven chamber works involving flute written between the years 1984 and 2011 by David Lang, co-founder of Bang on a Can and winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. Molly Barth, Associate Professor of Flute at University of Oregon and founding member of eighth blackbird, is the consistent performer throughout all works on this album. Thorn (1993), which features solo flute performed expertly by Molly Barth, features her hugely resonant sound. The extreme register changes are expertly managed and woven into a constantly moving line. It is four delightful minutes of extraordinary control. Lend/Lease (2008) includes Barth on piccolo and introduces woodblocks. The percussion adds a depth to the piccolo sound and also serves to emphasize certain moments of articulation. Short Fall (2000) is a somewhat larger chamber ensemble, including piccolo, violin, cello, and piano. The combination creates a rich texture of complementary sounds. It is balanced so no line emerges as primary, and the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. Zachariah Galatis joins Barth on piccolo for the next work, Involuntary (2011). It is an energetic combination of piccolos, trumpets, and crisp forward momentum provided by snare drum. Vent (1990) features a quickly moving piano line with longer flute gestures over the top; the flute part later switches to the faster motion. The momentum slows towards the end of the piece and then speeds up again, leading to an abrupt end. Driving lines are passed back and forth between the combination of piano, flute, and pizzicato cello in Burn Notice (1988). Contrasting timbres are at work again in the final work on the album, Frag (1984). Short fragments alternate between flute, oboe, and pizzicato cello. Overall, this is a well-executed album of flute and piccolo playing of the absolute highest quality. It receives my strongest recommendation. -Tammy Evans...

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Beta Quartet: Album Review

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in CD Reviews, December 2017, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Beta Quartet: Album Review

The award winning Beta Flute Quartet has released their first album! The quartet, newly formed in 2016, includes flutists Brittany Trotter, Eftihia Victoria Arkoudis, Tatiana Cassetta, and Alyssa Schwartz. They’ve won a number of prizes in their short time together including First Prize at the West Virginia Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the Flute Society of Kentucky Quartet Competition and they were semi-finalists in the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Great accomplishments in their first year!! They’ve included some terrific quartet music in this album featuring composers Anze Rozman, Jennifer Higdon, Mark Fromm, Mike Mower, and Derek Charke. I enjoyed all the pieces – Rozman’s Aqua Ventus, which in the Aqua movement evokes running water beautifully; Higdon's Steeley Pause, a virtuosic, intensely difficult and exciting piece;  Mower's Dances of the Lake, a longer 3 movement piece which explores the entire range of the flute in colorful ways; Fictions, by Mike Mower, with four descriptive works- Whirlpool, Drought, Home Side and Flat Out; and Derek Charke’s meditative Raga Sept. The quartet plays each piece with dedication and finesse, deeply finding the essence of each piece in their interpretations. Each player is an accomplished, lovely player with great sound and solid technique, and together they create a unique, virtuosic album of quartets. Give it a listen!! --Barbara...

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Emi Ferguson: Amour Cruel Album Review

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in CD Reviews, Featured, Issues, November 2017, Reviews | 0 comments

Emi Ferguson: Amour Cruel Album Review

Emi Ferguson’s new album is a genre breaking, spectacular work of art! Emi’s premise is, “What if Louis XIV were living today and curated his court composers with musicians like Beyonce, Lana Del Rey or Adele?” In answer to that question, she used 17th century French songs as inspiration and fused old instruments with modern styles and production to create the truly original set of songs on the album. You may be wondering – songs?—flute album? – what’s she talking about?! Not only does Emi play flute(s) including modern and baroque flutes, she is also the stellar vocalist on the album. Yes, she’s a beautiful singer as well, and she wrote and arranged all the music too.   And if you’re wondering what else she does beautifully then check out the video of the opening track and title song, Amour Cruel, and marvel at the beautiful red dress that Emi created and designed! A very accomplished flutist, Emi won First Prize in the NFA’s Young Artist Competition, the NY Flute Club Young Artist Competition, the Mid Atlantic Flute Competition, and the Juilliard Concerto Competition. She is passionate about “new” and “old” music and has performed worldwide on both modern and baroque flutes in Switzerland, New York, and France and at major festivals like Marlboro, Lucerne, and Lake Champlain. We did a video interview of Emi in which she talks about the album, so I’ll spend some time on the songs themselves. As the title song implies, the bilingual tracks are all tales of love gone bad and they pack an emotional punch! The beauty of her flute playing and her expressive and intensely felt singing draw you into to the world of love and loss that are both enhanced by being combined. Track 10, Enfin la beaute que j’adore, for example, brings us back to the Renaissance in style with a slight inflection of folk music as well. The first title track, Amour Cruel, is a mostly vocal work in which Emi sings with deep emotional feeling and vocal inflection, accompanied by flute and a virtuoso team of musicians. In fact, each of her musicians is a virtuoso in their own right and are comfortable in both contemporary and classical styles. The outstanding musicians are Jordan Dodson/guitars, Paul Holmes Morton/theorbo, lute, and guitars, Doug Balliett/basses and viola da gamba and Sam Budish/percussion. On all the selections, Emi’s flute playing is beautiful, refined, expressive and full of sparkle, but to me this all goes without saying as this album is one of the most original and interesting I’ve ever heard. I hope it goes to the top of the pop charts as it is already has on both the classical crossover and classical charts as it has the power to open minds and hearts to classical music in a new way. www.amourcruel.com --Barbara...

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Yubeen Kim: Concert Review. By TAMUC Flute Studio

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, November 2017, Reviews | 0 comments

Yubeen Kim: Concert Review. By TAMUC Flute Studio

  On Sunday, October 1st, 2017, the Texas A&M University-Commerce Flute Studio, directed by Dr. Julee Kim Walker, hosted International Flutist Yubeen Kim, in one of two US Debut Recitals. His performance was held in Jack and Lou Finney Concert Hall on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce in Commerce, TX, with pianist Anastasia Markina. Yubeen’s performance was nothing short of true artistry and passion, and spoke from the heart. Together with Anastasia, they created a magical evening of colorful, powerful music. Here are some of the impressions from the students: “He filled up every single area of the concert hall with a tremendously clear and beautiful sound, regardless of the dynamic!” -Daria Smetana, Senior “His tapers were the best that I've ever heard. There were many moments where I could not tell if he was still playing or if it was the piano!” -Lenora Willman, Sophomore “The fluidity of his double tonguing was something I strive to be able to do!” -Katie Petty, Senior “I throughly enjoyed listening to the expert musicality on his lyrical pieces and his clean, clear, defined technique on his faster pieces. It is everything I strive to be as a musician.” -Hannah VanDover, Freshman “Hearing such a young flutist execute difficult passages inspires me to never leave the practice room! His precision in fast articulation patterns but gracefulness and connectivity in the slower lines exhibits a great variety in style and a phenomenal sense of professional technique.” -Harley Smith, Freshman “After listening to his performance, it was incredibly difficult for me to believe that he is only 20 years old! His level of professionalism and his technique are way beyond his years. That was a truly inspiring performance.” -Nataly Ruan, Freshman “Everything about him was absolutely amazing. He is so young which has inspired me to never give up on my dreams. The different colors in tone were absolutely beautiful and his double tonguing was so clear and phenomenal. If he made a mistake, up I could not tell at all! His memorization was breathtaking.” -Leslie Corona, Freshman “After listening to him play three pieces I have spent time with myself, I was completely blown away by the ease that he played them. His releases were remarkable and the quality of pianos and fortes were the mark of a true artist! I thoroughly enjoyed his interpretation and performance!” -Shannon Peterson, Senior “Everything about his performance was so inspiring and it was truly such a great recital. His tone was flawless and his articulation was even more so. The fact that he is so young made all of it so much more amazing and I am so proud to say that I had the chance to witness the playing of such a great artist!” -Erin Walton, Freshman “The concert was much more than just playing flute! He has clearly thrown all of himself into his art. The mood of each piece was depicted aurally and visually as he let the emotions of the music show in his performance.” -Taylor Hennig, Senior “I was in awe the skill that was displayed to me! This man has clearly dedicated a countless amount of hours to becoming an astounding musician, and it definitely showed in the performance that I witnessed. His double tonguing was phenomenal, his memorization...

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Jean-Louis Beaumadier: Album Review

Posted by on Oct 1, 2017 in CD Reviews, Featured, Issues, October 2017, Reviews | 0 comments

Jean-Louis Beaumadier: Album Review

If you wake up in a sad mood, I suggest you put on Jean-Louis Beaumadier’s new CD, Sweet Dream,a joyous album which as Jean Louis says, “demonstrates the lighter side of the piccolo’s character.” The album is part of Beaumadier’s ongoing piccolo repertoire project, and Sweet Dreams is World Piccolo, volume 3. The collection includes works by these composers from throughout the world: Camarguo Guarnieri, Mike Mower, Jean Michel Damase, Gordon Jacob, Veronique Poltz, Flint Juventino Beppe, William Bardwell, Eugene Magalif, Raymond Gulot, and Malik Mezzadri. Beaumadier is a brilliant player, who has brought piccolo playing to a new level of attention and artistry through his many recordings and commissioning of new work. He plays with a beautiful sound, perfect pitch and crystal clear rhythm, always with a joyous infectious energy!! He has some wonderful guest players on the CD including Carla Rees and Gergely Itzes on Alto flute, Magik Malik on flute/ voice, Vincent Beer Demander on Mandoline, Peter Verhoyen on piccolo, Mathier Schaefer on xylophone and Jordi Torrent on piano. They are all expert players who add to the virtuosity of the album. For example, I loved Peter Verhoyen in the humorous piccolo duet with piano by Eugene Magalif and Jordi Torrent’s incredible ensemble playing throughout the album. The final work on the album is Malik Mezzadri’s, Naomi which shows a different side to the piccolo, utilizing flute and flute singing, done expertly by Magik Malik. It’s an abstract atonal work that reminds us that the piccolo had great versatility and that Beaumadier is a master of it all!! You can purchase the album on his website. --Barbara...

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