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  Classical Editor: Rob Barnett  
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Brilliant Classics

The Romantic Flute
Christophe GLUCK (1714-1787)

Dance of the blessed spirits
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)

Rondo alla Turca
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)

Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849)

Variations on a theme of Rossini, from La Cenerentola
Benjamin GODDARD (1849-1895)

Four pieces for flute and orchestra
Camille SAINT SAENS (1835-1921)

Tarantelle op. 6
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)

Andante and variations in F major
Paul-Agricole GENIN (1832-1903)

Carnaval de Venise
Marc Grauwels (flute)
Catherine Michel (harp): track 11
Yves Storms (guitar): track 2
Orchestre symphonique de la Radio Télévision Belge/André Vandernoot: tracks 3, 9, 10
Orchestre de chambre de Waterloo/Ulysse Waterlot: tracks 5-8, 12
Orchestre de chambre de Wallonie/Georges Dumortier: tracks 1, 4
CD 2
Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840)

Caprice no.24
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)

Arabian song, from Scheherazade,
Giulio BRICCIALDI (1818-1881)

Solo Romantico op.72
Albert Franz DOPPLER ( 1821-1883)

Andante and Rondo

Rondo Capriccioso
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)

Jules DEMERSSEMAN (1833-1866)

Solo de Concert op.82
Jules MASSENET (1842-1912)

Meditation from the opera: Thais
Claude-Paul TAFFANEL (1844-1908)

Fantasie on Weberís Opera: Der Freischütz
János Bálint (flute: pearl handmade 14K gold)
Tünde Kurucz (piano)
Katalin Kramarics (flute) on Doppler (track 4)
Recording: 2001, Licensed from Hungaroton, Hungary
No recording dates or locations given. DDD
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92190 [2CDs 60:07+63:40]


Super-budget label Brilliant Classics have released a fine compilation packed with twenty-one flute works from a number of composers. Although it is not clear the release seems to consist of previously issued material licensed from the Hungaroton catalogues. This set presents many varying aspects of the flute repertoire. There are works for flute and orchestra for example: Gluck (in his famous Dance of the Blessed Spirits), Chopin, Godard, Saint-Saëns, Fauré and Genin. There are also works for the flute as a chamber music instrument with the accompaniment of the piano, harp and guitar in a wide selection of classical favourites by composers such as Massenet (in his popular Meditation from the opera: Thais), Fauré, Rossini, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn.

On the first CD the soloist is the distinguished Belgium flautist Marc Grauwels who studied with the great flautists, James Galway and Jean-Pierre Rampal, and is a prolific recording artist with over fifty recordings to his name. Grauwels has a lovely tone and follows an exquisite line in performances that range from expressive to delightful to superb. I particularly enjoyed his interpretation of the excellent Four pieces for flute and orchestra by French composer Benjamin Goddard and the Tarantelle by Camille Saint-Saëns.

On the second CD, eight of the nine works are performed by flautist János Bálint, with the Andante and Rondo by Franz Doppler performed by soloist Katalin Kramarics. Hungarian soloist János Bálint has made a real name for himself as Professor at both the Szeged Conservatory in Hungary and the Detmold University in Germany. In addition he is a guest Professor at the Respighi Academy in Rome. Bálintís playing is out of the top-drawer and could hardly be improved upon; strong in personality with a lovely timbre. Especially fine is the interpretation of Jules Demerssemanís Solo de Concert where the soloist is in total command of this testing work. Hungarian flautist Katalin Kramarics has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and is successfully gaining recognition for her fine playing. Her poetic and colourful reading of the Andante and Rondo by Franz Doppler is admirable.

Brilliant Classics offer no booklet notes and have missed a marketing opportunity to give the listener the details of the individual releases that these works are taken from. The recorded sound does fluctuate across the various recordings used for this collection but is generally fine and often excellent. There is lots of pleasure to be gained from this compelling collection of flute works and the performances are very fine indeed.

Michael Cookson

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