IDENTITIES - 20th CENTURY MUSIC FOR FLUTE & STRINGS
BY BELGIAN COMPOSERS
Lucien POSMAN (b.1952)
- Geen Noodt, sapperloodt! (1997)
Frits CELIS (b. 1929) -
Quartetto op.24 (1987)
Wim HENDRICKX (b. 1962) - 2 Nocturnes
Roland CORYN (b.1938) - 13 Miniatures for flute/piccolo and
string quartet (1997)
Piet SWERTS (b.1960) - Mi-Parti
Marc MATTHYS (b.1956) -
Nocturne & Dance (1998)
Arco Baleno: (Peter Verhoyen
flute; Dirk Lievens, Marleen Ydiers violins;
Kaat de Cock viola; Stefaan Craeynest 'cello; Charice Adriaansen double
Rec Feb-July 2000
Rene Gailly CD87 169
Seductive is the word; it's hard to imagine anything sexier than the sound
of the alto flute purring quietly amongst the strings in Posman's
wonderful little quintet that opens this disc. In its ten minutes or so of
duration, the piece evolves imperceptibly, organically, and the alto flute
becomes a standard flute, then finally a piccolo. This is an exceptionally
satisfying and beautiful work, and is played with consummate skill by Arco
Baleno, the Belgian group who have produced this outstanding disc. Posman's
title, we are told by the booklet, translates roughly as 'Blimey, don't worry'.
Not sure what relevance that has to the content of the piece, except that
it may have been composed rather quickly! It's certainly none the worse for
it if that's the case.
The Posman was definitely the highlight of this recording for me, but all
the other pieces are well worth hearing. The Celis quartet is a rather
earnest work, but well constructed and convincing, while the Nocturnes
by the youngest composer represented here, Wim Hendrickx, use the
double bass in an effective and atmospheric way.
The Coryn Miniatures are fascinating little pieces, some well
under a minute long. They are little stylistic cameos, with highly effective
writing for the instruments. Swerts' Mi-Parti, with its aleatoric
elements, is perhaps not quite so satisfying, but has some extraordinarily
evocative sounds. Its middle section features the alto flute against barely
audible clusters in muted strings - very striking, and very beautiful.
The Matthys Nocturne and Dance is easily the most 'accessible'
work on the disc, with catchy tunes and rhythms and jazzy riffs in the 'cello.
It's a bit repetitive, but makes a pleasantly light-hearted conclusion to
this highly enjoyable recording.
The playing of flautist Peter Verhoyen and the rest of Arco Baleno is quite
outstanding throughout; they perform this difficult contemporary music with
such apparent ease that the many beauties to be found here are readily
appreciated. Recording quality, too, is exceptionally good. This is an issue
which will be irresistible to those interested in good modern music, and
should be compulsory listening for all flautists!