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!