One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger



AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Philippe GAUBERT (1879-1941) Complete Works for Flute – Volume 3
Deux esquisses [6.38]
Nocturne et allegro scherzando [5.38]
Sicilienne [2.56]
Romance (1905) [7.07]
Baroque and Classical Transcriptions by Philippe Gaubert [31.05]
Romance (1908) Assez lent [3.44]
Fantasie [6.49]
Sur l’eau [3.28]
Ballade [6.17]
Berceuse [3.30]
Fenwick Smith (flute)
Sally Pinkas (piano)
rec. Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts, April 2003 and January 2004
NAXOS 8.557307 [77.13]

The Naxos-Gaubert edition has now reached Volume 3 and whatever else may be said about the quality and level of inspiration of the compositions, executant standards are certainly well maintained (see reviews of Volume 1 - CMT & RH - and Volume 2 - GPJ). This is a difficult disc to assess because at its heart lies a long sequence of transcriptions – heard here in their first ever recording – the nourishment of which will depend entirely on one’s largesse toward flute and piano editions of Boccherini’s Minuet, Gluck’s Orfeo (Minuet and Dance inevitably), some Lully and the like. These Baroque and Classical transcriptions were written for publication by Leduc – Gaubert eventually contributed thirty – and whatever opportunities they may have given the amateur flautist then (publication was in 1927) they now seem, once again perhaps invariably, more than somewhat faded in charm.
Elsewhere we find the elite flautist-composer showing distinct Debussyan longings. Soir sur la plaine, the first of Deux esquisses is undated but doffs its impressionist cap to the Faune; the second, an Orientale, makes somewhat insipid moves towards the evocative East. The Nocturne et allegro scherzando is one of those familiarly bipartite conservatoire test pieces – a slow introduction testing legato and colour followed by an allegro of sharp corners and some difficulty. His Sicilienne owes a debt to Fauré but the 1905 Romance, whilst lyrically attractive, is overstretched.
The impressionist reappears strongly in the 1908 Romance but there’s something altogether stronger and more personal in the Fantaisie which sports a fine cadenza and a slightly backward looking late nineteenth century Test Piece ethos. Finally there’s an affectionate Lullaby to provide easeful leave taking.
Quite a deal of this is editorial bread and butter work – the Transcriptions amount to a good half an hour’s worth – but there’s enough stylistic density to keep routine at bay. But it’s mainly for flautists, completists and Gaubertists, or combinations thereof.
Jonathan Woolf


AmazonUK   AmazonUS




Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.