leading wind soloist takes flight - or in Crystal’s rubric takes wing – in a recital of contemporary American music.
Lois Bliss Herbine is flautist with Orchestra 2000 and is clearly
a committed exponent of such music, having commissioned and
performed it with a number of ensembles and in a wide variety
of media. She’s joined by some able colleagues in a programme
that is entertaining and wide ranging.
Sonatine was inspired by a visit to Monet’s garden at Giverny
and was written in 2000. It glints, glances and summons up Debussyan
chords in its opening (Les fleurs ravisantes – properly conveyed)
though the heat haze stasis of the high piccolo line in
the second movement is even more arresting, as is the loquacious
promenade of the last of the three movements, En ville, in which there’s a requisite
bustle of talk and motion. Krantz’s little Song
of Spring in which he plays the guitar is only two years
old at the time of writing and has real lyric curve. Elliot’s
Fantasy is similarly brief at six minutes or so and is an ebullient
tongue twister, which stretches the player’s lungs and demands
fast and precise articulation. Loeb’s Preludes are for solo
piccolo and are the fourth such volume of solos he has written.
Brief and adroit one or two summon up the Eastern influences
that Loeb has acknowledged before.
is seldom out of the musical news these days, for one reason
or another. His old school lyricism comes with flutter tonguing
and “falling away” aircraft sonorities – appropriately since
his two-movement work is inspired by the post-WWII interest
in air travel. As if to reinforce the allure of foreign travel
we have a hint of the bossa nova and some overblowing as well.
The senior composer is Persichetti, who died in 1987. I like
the advice he gave to Herbine not to make more of it than it is – just a
little Christmas Hymn tune. Mager’s Salterello
is attractive and the concluding Buss is the only time we get
to hear a trio – though elsewhere there are duos of various
kinds. This ends the disc well – dance rhythms, Romantic tunes
and a jazzy close.
are fluent and attractive and the recorded sound is good, curbing
any tendency toward shrillness at the top of the piccolo’s range.
As ever Crystal’s notes are
a fold out nightmare – come on you chaps in Camas, WA, let’s
have a booklet.