A clutch of five CDs issued by Gallo in 1996 marked Flury's centenary. His was a talent that prized classical values and expression. He found in the romantic heritage a medium for communication that presented no difficulties to listeners who were prepared to cast aside the fashionable rules of the era. He was an arch-conservative and this is easily apparent in his Fifty Romantic Pieces
. They are in the manner of Mozart and Schumann's Kinderszenen
but not as 'softly' sentimental as Macdowell. I will not trouble you with the fifty titles but each is named and the following examples conjure up a fair impression of the sound of the music. They include Walking, At the Inn, The Brook, The Mischievous Maid, Escape, Good Tidings, Castle Ruins, Sleighride, The Merry Peasant, Rocking Horse, Spinning Wheel, Christmas, The Organist, The Scatterbrain and so on. Only in the Waves of the Wheatfield
do we encounter a more modern sensibility. The sequence was inspired by the rural area of Bucheggberg to the south of Solothurn (whose orchestra Flury conducted). The same rural area had also inspired his Symphony No 3 (1946) and his Ländlers
for piano which were later orchestrated. Lovely measured playing by Aubert-Tackett.
This is not the knowing conservatism of Rochberg and Holloway nor yet the pastiche of Silvestrov. Instead this is closer in commitment to George Lloyd's use of hyper-romantic orchestral apparatus and of the Australian symphonist Alfred Hill. Hill is in fact quite a good parallel with his Schumann-Mendelssohn predilection on display in the symphonies and string quartets. Other comparable brethren include the Dane Rued Langgaard but only when writing in voluptuous Schumannic mode. Flury does not share the avant-garde eccentricity of Langgaard. Give a thought also to that largely unknown British composer Walter Thomas Gaze Cooper. Gaze Cooper was born in the 1890s and died in the early 1970s, totally neglected. His piano concertos sound as if they strode straight out of the pages of Schumann and Chopin.
This disc will be welcomed by those who enjoy their Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn and, although by no means as involute, by those who appreciate Medtner. Tougher than Macdowell but not for fans of Rachmaninov or Prokofiev. Fascinating.
Will be welcomed by those who enjoy Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn. Flury was an arch-romantic. ... see Full Review