Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Works for solo flute
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Partita in A minor BWV 1013 [15:12]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Syrinx [2:35]
John BUCKLEY (b.1951)
Winter Echoes (2008) [3:14]
Sea Echoes (2008) [3:18]
Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996)
Itinerant (1989) [3:12]
Sigfrid KARG-ELERT (1877-1933)
Sonata appassionata Op.140 [4:42]
Donnacha DENNEHY (b.1970)
fAt (2000, rev 2005) [5:52]
Edgard VARESE (1883-1965)
Density 21.5 (1962) [3:22]
Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955)
Danse de la Chèvre (1921) [3:25]
Peter Michael HAMEL (1717-1757)
Traumzeit [11:24]
Severio MERCADANTE (1717-1757)
Variations on La ci darem la mano [3:53]
Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788)
Sonata in A minor Wq 132 (1758) [12:59]
William Dowdall (flute)
rec. January 2007, January 2008 and August 2008, Gallagher Concert Chamber, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. DDD
CELESTIAL HARMONIES 13253-2 [73:10]

Experience Classicsonline



This disc of solo flute repertoire, one of many on the market, contains standard works, such as the sonatas by J.S. and C.P.E. Bach, Debussy’s Syrinx and works by Takemitsu, Honegger and Varèse. There are also some less familiar works, such as those by John Buckley and Donnacha Dennehy. The sleeve-notes are excellent, and provide score extracts, as well as information about which flutes are being played for each piece.

In the performance of solo works particularly, sound quality is everything. Here the microphone is placed too close to the flute to give a clear sound; the air in the tone is distracting and detracts from the overall performance. The opening J.S. Bach Sonata is generally well handled, although it lacked the musical finesse of some of the recordings I’ve heard; the interpretation is not to my taste, and I was not always convinced by the musical logic employed. That said, however, there is a clear sense of personality in the playing and some individuality of style.

It is curious that Syrinx is played here on a silver flute and heard immediately after the Bach on a wooden flute. I detected more warmth in the sound and something of a clearer focus, but overall there was little to distinguish between the different flutes. I was disappointed by the lack of rhythmic accuracy in this reading; overall it felt rushed. Flute players rarely play this piece as Debussy wrote, and I would like to hear more rhythmic clarity. The first of two John Buckley pieces is heard almost without pause. The sound quality is much clearer here, with a sense of focus and richness from Dowdall’s Platinum Brannen flute. The performance is generally much more convincing and has a good sense of flow. Sea Echoes, the second of the two Buckley pieces, makes use of the glissando headjoint, and to excellent effect. This is a fascinating and well written piece, which has much to offer and is played with aplomb.

Again, the Takemitsu begins without much of a break. I would have liked a little more time to allow each piece to breathe. Karg-Elert’s Sonata Appassionata is played with a sense of flair and well communicated phrasing. Donnacha Dennehy’s fAt is highly enjoyable, with electronic backing, an addictive rhythmic groove and some wonderful hints of Irish traditional music. Multi-tracked flutes help to create the layered accompaniment and there is a building sense of frenzied excitement as the piece progresses. In contrast, the opening of Varèse’s Density 21.5 works very well. Overall this is a convincing performance, although I felt the sound was forced at times, causing intonation problems. Honegger’s Danse de la Chèvre is played with a sense of atmosphere, and the last phrase is particularly enjoyable.

Peter Michael Hamel’s Traumzeit is a five movement work for alto flute. It makes use of exotic sounds and microtonal intervals. The work creates an interesting atmosphere, but the first two movements did not hold my interest. I would have liked a greater sense of expression in the playing and more rhythmic variety in the composition. The third movement possesses more of a haunting quality and Dowdall’s open low register sound is appealing. Faster pacing develops in the fourth movement, giving a good sense of flow with repeated patterns interrupted and juxtaposed. The final movement uses fast articulation of repeated notes interspersed by an ornamented figure, making use mostly of the middle register of the instrument. Here I would have liked more variety of tone colour, with greater focus of sound in the fast moving motifs to maintain interest. The sudden arrival of strong off-beat accents is welcome, and this for me is one of the strongest parts of the movement.

Two works remain, Mercadante’s Variations on la ci darem la mano, which displays technique, and C.P.E. Bach’s solo sonata. Dowdall’s aggressive opening of the Poco Adagio movement is unusual and unlikely to be to everyone’s taste, and the choice of ornamentation is also a little unexpected at times. The second movement is played with cheerful energy, while the final movement is fast-paced and lively.

Overall, this is a CD with variable quality, both in the repertoire and the playing. I felt perhaps that there are too many works included. There should have been more breathing space between pieces. Dowdall clearly has a passion for contemporary repertoire, and the most recent works are the most successful recordings.

Carla Rees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

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

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      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

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

Nostalgia

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

Comment
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

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
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
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
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
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

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






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.