Wind Effusions
Hanning SCHRÖDER (1896-1978)
Music for flute and bassoon (1978) [7:42]
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Bachianas Brasileiras No.6 [8:31]
Pierre GABAYE (1930-2000)
Sonatine for flute and bassoon [10:51]
Willson OSBORNE (1906-1979)
Rhapsody for bassoon (1958 revised edition) [4:39]
Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992)
Etudes Tanguistiques Nos 3 and 4 (1987) [6:24]
Jan BACH (b.1937)
Music for a Low-Budget Epic [11:13]
Eugene BOZZA (1905-1991)
Sonatine for flute and bassoon (1938) [7:12]
Danilo Lozano (flute)
David Muller (bassoon)
rec. July 2007, The Ruth B Shannon Center for the Performing Arts, Whittier College

I’m not quite sure about the title. Cruder minds than mine - if such a thing should be thought possible to exist - might find it tempting. I of course will carry on regardless, wind or no wind.

The selection is a typical one for this company; broadly little known contemporary music leavened by the occasional classic. Schröder’s Music for flue and bassoon was published in 1978, the year of his death. It’s written in a loose-limbed, rather avuncular neo-classical style, rising to the austerity of the slow fourth movement and a vital, engaging finale. Pierre Gabaye’s Sonatine by contrast has a rather insouciant Milhaud-like quality. There’s an especially nice, deadpan March in the opening movement and a rhapsodic song at the work’s centre. The finale picks up the dance theme and transforms things into a perky and rhythmically chattery and inherently charming conclusion.

Willson Osborne’s Rhapsody for bassoon is heard here in its 1958 revision. It’s influenced by Hindemith, and its lyrical freedom is subject to a strong organisational control. I must say I was looking forward to Jan Bach’s Music for a Low-Budget Epic and this pesky opus, which owes its genesis to that director of mad genius Ed Wood, is a genuine homage. That said I think the title is better than the music, despite the pesky trills, the larky air - even with its deliberately over loquacious piccolo. I did like the chariot race a deux that ended it though.

Back in 1938 Eugene Bozza dedicated his Sonatine to Ibert. It’s an agile, engaging work with a suave Andantino and a freewheeling finale. It’s zesty, none too deep, and sounds highly rewarding to play. The other works are better known. The Villa-Lobos is difficult to balance but players and engineers have ensured that there is no overbalancing or covering. Lozano and Muller play the Fantasia with requisite awareness of its lugubrious qualities. Then we have Piazzolla’s Etudes Tanguistiques for solo flute, of which we hear numbers 3 and 4. They are less flimsy than I usually encounter from the pen of the fecund Piazzolla. As with Villa-Lobos due obeisance is shown to Bach - though you’d be hard pressed indeed to name the composer from these strictly classical studies.

An interesting recital then, very well played and recorded - though I found longueurs, which is perhaps not unexpected in a programme for this combination - or indeed solo.

Jonathan Woolf