Reviews

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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Suzanne Teng: Album Review

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

Suzanne Teng: Album Review

Right now, we all need more meditation, healing, and peace, and Suzanne Teng/Mystic Journey's new album, "Kingdom of Mountains," provides music that evokes all of those elements.   I have always been a fan of Teng's music, as she is a master of countless world flutes, and "Kingdom of Mountains" is an excellent followup to her last album, "Mystic Journey."  Mystic Journey is now the name of the collective of musicians including Teng, her husband and co-writer, Gilbert Levy (world strings, percussions, synths), Dann M. Torres (guitar, oud, electric sitar), and Jon Ossman (bass and dilruba). "Kingdom of Mountains" is a blend of all styles of world music and flutes, and the ambient tracks behind the world instruments give it a feeling of peacefulness and thought.  This album has more rhythms, grooves, and instruments than her previous, which give the music more textures and layers.  Standout tracks are "Kingdom of Mountains," a 7 minute track, as I like the longer length in tracks, especially in meditation music.  "Delicate Rainbow Flower" is pure beauty, and the instruments blend together harmoniously.  When I close my eyes and listen to "Yunnan," I get transported to China.  Much of Teng's music can take you to different worlds if you just clear your thoughts and listen.  ...

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Carlos Escribá Cano: Album Review

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in CD Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews, September 2017 | 0 comments

Carlos Escribá Cano: Album Review

Flutist, composer, arranger, and music producer, Carlos Cano Escribá plays with a grenadilla wooden flute from Verne Q. Powell Flutes.  Born in Havana in 1971, he completed his studies at the National School of Music. Mr. Escribá is a former member of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, with which he performed on the most important stages of Spain.  He continuously collaborates with orchestras such as the Symphony Orchestra of Madrid and the Symphonic Orchestra of the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona. His last work, Canciones y Palabras, along with pianist Hernán Milla and Cuban poet Aldo J. Méndez, was nominated for a Latin Grammy as best album for children.  Escribá is currently flute professor at the Marcos Redondo Professional Music Conservatory in Ciudad Real, Spain. Por La Rivera de Paquito, the new album from flutist Carlos Escribá Cano and pianist Hernán Milla, is a delightful collection of Paquito De Rivera's iconic Cuban music, which is thoughtfully arranged by Cano and Milla for flute, piano, and a variety of accompanying instruments.  When you think of De Rivera's sound, flute does not generally come to mind, as his music was primarily played and written for clarinet and saxophone.  Cano's interpretation and playing was authentic, honest, and virtuosic, showcasing his talents as a flutist, orchestrator, and arranger.  The legendary De Rivera is featured on the opening and closing tracks of the album, adding an even extra layer of counterpoint and harmony. The album begins with Con Chucho Corriente Abajo (Variations on Chucho Valdes' Mambo Influenciado).  This piece is a fun mambo and fugue; parts of it are reminiscent of Claude Bolling's Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano, altering between jazzy and classical.  Next is Aires Tropicales, in four short movements (Contradanza, Habanera, Vals Venezolano, Afro).  This relatively unknown wind quintet by Rivera, arranged for flute and piano, was played with a freshness and crispness, accentuating the solid collaboration between Cano and Milla. Cano brings out the alto flute in the Dizzy Gillespie standard, A Night in Tunisia, and adds doublebass and percussion to another excellent arrangement.  His alto flute tone is rich and smooth, and his solos soar with virtuosity through the piece.  As Cano is mostly a classical and orchestral player, I was quite impressed to hear his jazz chops which rival those of most jazz flutists.  De Rivera's The Cape Cod Files, originally for clarinet and piano, start with the first movement (Lecuonerías) as a long cadenza of solo flute, the second (Benny @100) adding piano, third (Bandoneón) adding the bandoneón accordian as a tribute to Astor Piazzola with a lovely improvised bandoneón part from Claudio Constantini, and ending with Chiquita Blues, which is a jaunty and rhythmic finale to the piece.  The last 3 short pieces on the album (La Fleur de Cayenne, Invitacion al Danzon, Brussels in the Rain) round out this exciting album of music that is rarely played and heard by flutists, and Carlos Cano Escribá/Hernán Milla bring their outstanding teamwork and knowledge of De Rivera's music and style into every piece.  Brussels in the Rain created a whimsical Parisian atmopshere and was a stand out track on the album.   Por La Rivera de Paquito, which means "for the river of Paquito," is an album that flows like a river from song to song.  ...

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Galway Flute Festival: The Guest Artists

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in August 2017, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Galway Flute Festival: The Guest Artists

  The Guest Artists of the Galway Flute Festival gave incredible masterclasses and concerts and came from all over the world. We asked them about their experiences at the festival, their flute stories, and advice they would offer to young students.      Kersten McCall Artist in Residence Philipp Jundt Switzerland/Korea Nicola Mazzanti Italy Irina Stachinskaya Russia Juliette Hurel France Stephen Clark Scotland Barbara Kortmann Germany Ernesto Fernandez USA Andrea Griminelli Italy and of course, Sir James Galway Thank you for everything!   THANK YOU from The Flute View...

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