Schubert sonatas

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Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett



Gypsy Wheel
David DZUBAY (b.1964)

Footprints (2002)
Francois BORNE (c.1840-1920)

Fantasie brillante sur Carmen on themes by Georges Bizet*
Matthew van BRINK (b.1978)

Dai Dosai – Sonata for Flute and Piano (2000)
Charles Tomlinson GRIFFES (1884-1920)

Poem (1918)
Mischa ZUPKO (b.1971)

The Seven Deadly Sins (2002)
Paul TAFFANEL (1844-1908)

Fantasie (on themes from Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber)
Thomas Robertello (flute)
Winston Choi (piano)
Andreas Adorian (flute)*
Recorded in Tom-Tom Studios, Budapest, September 2003


Why Gypsy Wheel? There’s no answer in the booklet but it refers to the cover art, a painting of that name by Ed Paschke in the collection of flautist Thomas Robertello. This is a most eclectic collection, ranging from the brilliant French operatic paraphrases of Borne and Taffanel via the stern morality of the Seven Deadly Sins (Zupko, not Weill) to the culinary temptations of van Brink’s Dai Dosai, a sonata that takes as its theme Indian cooking. Surely a first.

The abrasive start of Dzubay’s 2002 Footprints is misleading. The work abjures rigid or doctrinaire precepts and instead settles down to some rhythmic oscillation. That Dai Dosai (each movement headed by the name of a different dish – the composer is clearly a culinary connoisseur though he doesn’t obviously say so himself) is a bubbly three-movement affair. Its ostensible inspiration doesn’t inform the musical style – no ragas here. It’s a bit conventional to start with Garam Masala I suppose but the Andante feel of Asafoetida is attractive whilst we reserve the spiciest mix for the fused finale, Tarka (the dish not the otter) with its slower central section; one long satisfying chew before some exultant overblowing ends the meal.

Zupko mines scurry and some tense brittle writing to evoke the Sins – Lust is scherzo-like, Anger is full of flutter-tongued moments, vocal and fractious, and Envy has some coiled and nasty piano writing over which the flute floats with serene hypocrisy. Idiomatic writing and one of the pieces dedicated to the daredevil flautist Robertello. He and Choi catch the urgency of the evocative Griffes and dish out the flummery of the Borne and Taffanel with gleeful virtuosity – the former has a Habanera and plenty of spicy drama and the soloist’s snatched breaths are indicative of the demands involved.

The notes are, as ever with this company, comprehensive (though I always get confused as to which way the booklet text runs).

Jonathan Woolf


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