> Love Letters [KS]: Classical CD Reviews- Oct 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Love Letters
Martin Scott KOSINS (b.1947) Love Letters, A dialogue for flute and piano; Winter Moods, for unaccompanied flute,
Francois BORNE (1840-1920), Fantasie Brilliante (on themes from Bizetís Carmen,
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin,
Theobold BOEHM (1794-1881), Variations Brillantes sur un Air Allemand,
Grigoras DINICU (1889-1949), Hora Staccato.
David Shostac, flute
Anita Swearengin, piano
Recorded 1984 and 2001. [ADD and DDD]


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I donít think that any label on earth issues better recital discs than Crystal Records. This lovely concert by David Shostac, principal flute of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and pianist Anita Swearengin is no exception to the rule. If there is a problem at all here, it is that the playing time of the disc is too short. I wanted to hear some more. As a rule, I receive twenty or more discs per month to review. That doesnít leave me time for much repeated listening. My rule is to listen to a disc twice before writing about it. I have now listened to this program six times in two weeks. That is a new record!

The high spots of this splendid hour are the two haunting works by composer, writer and record producer, Martin Kosins. It has been a long time since I have heard such evocative writing, and for a pleasant change, this is music that is tuneful and attractive without sounding like the new age drivel that is passing for music these days. All the elements of a well-constructed work of music are present in Love Letters, and yet we also get atmosphere, melody and rhythmic interest. Winter Moods is a work that is on a par with Telemannís masterful unaccompanied suites. Mr. Kosinsí work needs to be heard in the concert hall, and I hope that this disc will lead to more flutists programming his music.

Mr. Shostac plays with a wonderful sensitivity. He sings with his instrument, which is the highest compliment that I, a singer and choirmaster by profession, can pay. He is also quite capable of virtuosity, as the Hora staccato of Dinicu (borrowed from the violinistsí repertoire) bears out. The other works that round out the program are well executed too. Borneís Carmen fantasy is a little predictable, and I cannot help but think that Sarasateís treatment of this music is all we really need of the Carmen medley genre.

Let me just get it off my chest and say that I love this recording, and that it comes with unqualified recommendation. It is one of the most satisfying new discs to have come across my desk in a long, long time!

Kevin Sutton

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