> Venetian music for solo flute [KM]: Classical CD Reviews- Jun2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Venetian music for solo flute
Inni e Sequenze
Anonimo veneto sec. XIV
Giorgio Mainerio: I° libro dei balli
Giovanni Bassano: Ricercata sesta
Silvestro Ganassi: Ricercare
Anonimo sec. XVI: Romanza ebraico-sefardita
Anonimo sec. XVIII: raccolta di balli
Benedetto Marcello: Sonata prima
Anonimo sec. XVIII: raccolta di balli
Pietro Grattoni d'Arcano: Sonata
Le Printemps de Vivaldi arrangé pour la flute sans accompagnement par Mr. J.J. Rousseau

Stefano Bet, traverse flutes
Rec: 1-3 September 2000, Chiesa di S. Trovaso, Venezia, Chiesa di S. Lorenzo, S. Vito al Tagliamento Frini (Italy)
NALESSO NR 010 [69.51]

Flautist Stefano Bet has an interesting idea in presenting, on a single disc, a panorama of solo flute music from Venice across several centuries, and played on nine different original instruments. In an attractive package, with well-illustrated notes, he gives an overview of the history of Venetian music through his instrument, the flute.

Beginning with three Gregorian works, he shows how the flute was designed to imitate the voice. While these works are interesting in a didactic vein, the later works are more "musical" and more attractive. The 16th century works by Giorgio Mainerio and Giovanni Bassano are much more lively and, unlike the Gregorian works, were written for the flute, and exploit its particularities.

Stefano Bet shows the wide variety of his musicianship with works up to and including Vivaldi. Benedetto Marcello’s sonata for solo flute is the first work on this disc which contains several movements (this one contains four), and is in the baroque idiom. Unfortunately, the performance of this work sounds wooden and uninspired, and lacks energy. Rhythmically, Bet seems married to a metronome, and his phrasing sounds much too rigid.

The Vivaldi is an arrangement of Spring for solo flute by J. J. Rousseau. While the familiar melodies will strike a chord in the listener, this too is played far too lackadaisically, and the energy we all know from this work is lost in the translation.

If you are a flautist, you will certainly want this recording for its variety of music and instruments. But, if not, you will probably feel the same kind of ennui I felt listening to it; there is not enough variety in the music, and the performances sound uninspired. This didactic disc is not one that opens itself to repeated listening.
Kirk McElhearn


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