MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS


To Pan and Syrinx
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Sonata for Flute and Piano (1945) [19:26];
Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1931) Joueurs de Flûte op. 27 (1924) [9:34]; Georges ENESCU (1881-1955) Cantabile et Presto (1904) [6:43]; Melanie BONIS (1858-1937) Sonata for Flute and Piano (1904) [17:32]; Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Syrinx (1913) [3:00]; Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Introduction, Theme and Variations D802 [30:32];
Kenneth Smith (flute); Paul Rhodes (piano)
rec. January 2006, St Swithuns School, Winchester; April 1996, St Mary’s Church, Burghfield, Berkshire. DDD
DIVINE ART DDA25066 [76:35]
Experience Classicsonline

Kenneth Smith is known to many as the long standing principal flute player of the Philharmonia. An unassuming man, he has developed a reputation as one of the UK’s best flute players, and it is clear from this recording that he is a consummate musician.

Beginning with Martinů’s Sonata, this disc is a feast for the ears. The first movement is lyrical and somewhat understated, drawing the listener in. The second movement is exquisitely played, with dark harmonies and rich tone colours. The performers have been working together for over twenty years and one senses an instinctive communication between them. Paul Rhodes is an excellent accompanist who plays with impressive sensitivity, as well as taking centre-stage where required. This is a dramatic work, composed in 1945 at the request of René Le Roy. The three movements contain both rhythmic and harmonic complexities which drive the music forward. This is an excellent performance throughout.

Roussel’s set of four short pieces, Joueurs de Flûte, is a tribute to four legendary flute players from different cultures; Pan tells of the famous flute-god, who is half man and half goat and falls in love with the nymph Syrinx; Tityre is a Shepherd boy from the Eclogues by Virgil; Krishna is a flute-playing Indian god, while Monsieur de la Péjaudie is a character from a novel by Henri de Régnier. Smith and Rhodes perform each movement with a strong sense of character, from the frivolous and lively Tityre to the dreamy Pan.

Enesco’s Cantabile and Presto is one of a number of works written as a test-piece for the Paris Conservatoire, and is well known in the flute’s repertoire. In this performance, the Cantabile is luxurious and indulgent, and slower than some other interpretations, but Smith and Rhodes judge the spacing so well that it is unquestionably successful. The Presto is played with a sense of lightness and is well controlled.

Perhaps the least known composer of this disc, Melanie Bonis was a student of Franck’s at the Paris Conservatoire. Rich and sumptuous, this sonata contains expressive melodic lines and interplay between the flute and piano, which is played with panache by these experienced performers.

Debussy’s Syrinx is possibly the best known solo flute work, and there are as many different interpretations as there are performances. Here, Kenneth Smith makes use of rubato to give a flexible performance which is expressive and imaginative. He deploys tone colours to give variety to his sound and provides a convincing set of musical ideas.

The final work on the disc is Schubert’s Variations which make use of the theme from Trockne Blumen from Die Schöne Mullerin. This is an epic work for the flute, lasting half an hour on this recording. The dark introduction is well judged and entices the listener onwards. Smith performs the theme with a vocal lyricism which is tinged with sorrow. The variations that follow are expertly performed, with Smith demonstrating impressive breath control and a wonderful tone quality throughout. The technically demanding passages are performed with ease by both musicians, and Rhodes makes an excellent job of the virtuoso piano passages. By contrast, the slower, more expressive moments are performed with sensitivity and understanding.

This is a wonderful disc, both in terms of the repertoire and the quality of the performance. It is the sort of playing that makes you sit up and listen; the artistry of these musicians is impressive and demands attention. I can’t wait to hear the duo’s next CD, of British music, due in early 2009.

Carla Rees


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review 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.