Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Barking Dog Records

Andrea STERN (born 1957)

Salvador BROTONS (born 1959)

Tre Divertimenti Op.68
Charles Tomlinson GRIFFES (1884 – 1920)

The White Peacock (1915)a
Daniel DORFF (born 1956)

Serenade to Eve, After Rodin (1999)
Joaquín RODRIGO (1901 – 1999)

Serenata al Alba del Dia (1982)
Claude DEBUSSY (1862 – 1918)

Le Petit Berger (1906/8)
Le Petit Nègre (1909)
Jean-Michel DAMASE (born 1928)

Quatre Façettes (1999)
Debora Harris (flute); Mike Coates (guitar); Russell Peterson (bassoon)a
Recorded: Raptor Studios, Fargo, North Dakota, June-July 2002
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Griffes’ The White Peacock started its life as one of the Roman Sketches Op.7 for piano and was orchestrated later by the composer. The present arrangement for flute, guitar and bassoon is by Mike Coates and works remarkably well. It perfectly conveys the work’s subtle Impressionism.

Andrea Stern’s Mosaic, originally written for flute and harp, has also been arranged by Mike Coates. It is one of the many rarities in this release each of which could easily become popular. The music, as that of most other pieces here, is straightforward, impressionistic and overtly tuneful. Daniel Dorff’s Serenade to Eve, After Rodin has its origin in an improvisational performance in Philadelphia’s Rodin Museum in which the composer took part as a clarinetist. Rodin’s sculptures of Adam and Eve banished from Paradise display "grief, terror and shame". Dorff’s short piece was thus written, as it were, to cheer Eve up. It is a really charming miniature, as is the lovely diptych by Rodrigo composed in 1982 for violin or flute and guitar. Spain is also represented by Salvador Brotons and his delightful and superbly crafted Tre Divertimenti Op.68 are unpretentious miniatures; another welcome addition to this particular repertoire.

We are not told who arranged Debussy’s Le Petit Berger from the popular Children’s Corner, but it works well as does Coates’ transcription of Debussy’s jazzy little piano piece Le Petit Nègre which might have been another movement of Children’s Corner.

This attractive collection ends with yet another welcome rarity Quatre Facettes by Jean-Michel Damase whose superbly crafted, tuneful music is always a joy to hear. Sadly enough, it is still too rarely heard.

All in all, a splendid and enjoyable collection of miniatures (no great masterpieces here) that are all well worth hearing, especially in such immaculate performances. Excellent recording in natural acoustics remarkably free from the many extraneous noises (breathing, clicks, etc.) that often mar similar recitals. Recommended for pleasure’s sake, but a bit short in terms of playing time.


Hubert Culot

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