Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Len Mullenger:

ROBERT MUCZYNSKI (b. 1929) Complete flute music Alexandra Hawley (flute) Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute) Stanford Woodwind Quintet  rec 21-26 Jan 1995 and 26 Feb 1996 San Rafael, California NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559001 [6841]

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Wind Quintet (198.5)
Duos for Flutes
Moments for flute and piano
Fragments for woodwind trio
Three Preludes for unaccompanied flute
Movements for wind quintet
Duos for flute and clarinet
Flute Sonata

I was not predisposed to enjoying this music but was surprised when I played the disc.

The Quintet is succinctly succulent with on-your-toes dynamism, a heart-beat slowing andantino and some blissfully elysian birdsong. The central andantino reminded me of Vaughan Williams Vocalises for soprano and clarinet (1958).

Rampal joined Alexandra (not Alexander as the booklet dubs her!) Hawley in the Duos for two flutes in performances of abundant charm (the two instruments echoing off each other in the allegro risoluto). The opportunity to hear the same music in different garb comes in tracks 26-31 where flute and clarinet are the executant instruments.

The Moments migrate from Waltonian arabesque (Walton V at the start of the score) to a Poulencian andante that is not without urgency. Muczynski is the pianist. The Fragments evoke summer dreams in Reverie and adopt a cheeky though tasteful exuberance. The Three Preludes include a sea chanty style movement similar to Malcolm Arnold's Chanties. The Movements for wind quintet have a Moeran-like resolve. The Sonata has a greater angularity than the other works which makes it impressive as display but not winning musically speaking.

Detailed informative notes by the Ledins.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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