> PAGANINI 24 Caprices Cawdrey ADW7403 [JW]: Classical Reviews- April 2002 MusicWeb-International

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Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840)
24 Caprices Op 1 arr Cawdrey
Julian Cawdrey, flute
Recorded St Andrews Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire May 1997


Experience Classicsonline

Julian Cawdrey was the 1984 BBC Young Musician of the Year, making his Queen Elizabeth Hall debut two years later and the recipient of the dedication of a flute sonata by Alan Hoddinott. Amongst his teachers was Geoffrey Gilbert. He has had the courage to arrange the Op 1 Caprices for flute, a Herculean feat that involves some wholesale rearrangements. Since its impossible to replicate double stopping, string crossing, extra parts and chordal writing amongst other things he has had to "revamp" (his word) the flute part. In that respect, maybe surprisingly, he's not the first. There's an arrangement. I believe, by Jules Herman dating from the early 1970s and the French flautist Patrick Gallois has also brought out his own arrangement, published by Leduc, which sounds a good deal more avant-garde than Cawdrey's employing as it does circular breathing, flutter tongue and humming; in fact Gallois has recorded his edition on DG 435 768 2GH.

Cawdrey prefers a degree of flexibility allied to more conventional means. He advocates crisp articulation at fast tempi, replacing, for instance, the double-stopping of No 8 with octave leaps (Gallois here employs "double articulation" to provide an octave effect). In No 9 Cawdrey uses grace notes to imitate the Caprice's huntsman's call; in the same Caprice the French flautist engages in some suitably pyrotechnic humming. I was anticipating No 6 with its sustained single string melody and simultaneous trill with some interest; here Cawdrey plays the melody with the trills pps, quite an inventive solution. It takes quite some violinist to tackle the Caprices let alone a flautist and the young Englishman acquits himself well. Of course there are problems; the scintillating runs in No 2 are difficult to sustain (the flutes limitations here, due to breath taking, are really considerable and take their toll). Intrusive breaths compromise the melodic line; the trills of No 11 could have been more deftly and quickly taken, although I did most certainly enjoy Cawdrey's elegance in this rhetorical Caprice. Its very difficult to bring off the register leaps of No 15; quite a lot of line fracturing is involved. Transpositions are inevitable in a transcription of this kind but Cawdrey has an acute musical ear for incongruity and an occasionally frisky one as well listen to the over drone melody of No 12 and its attendant buzzing tone. No 22 emphasises an occasional fault of the recording which is to expose a certain shrillness in Cawdrey's tone, especially maybe inevitably at the top of the compass, though this is hardly surprising given the remorseless virtuoso rhetoric he has deal with. Its good that flautists are increasingly looking to this kind of repertoire; if you're going to do it at all you might as well do it as well as Cawdrey.

Jonathan Woolf


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