Dedicated to Donizetti
Giuseppe RABBONI (1800-1856)
Fantasy on Themes from Linda di Chamounix, op.48 [17:55]
Giulio BRICCIALDI (1818-1881)
Fantasy on La Figlia del Reggimento, op.27 [14:53]
Pietro TONASSI (1800-1870)
Introduction and Polonaise on Reminiscences of La Favorita [9:45]
George Alexander OSBORNE (1806-1893) and Jean-Louis TULOU (1786-1865)
Fantaisie et Variations Concertantes sur L'Elisir d'Amore [9:53]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848)
Flute Sonata in C (1819) [9:40]
Carl Joachim ANDERSEN (1847-1909)
Opera Transcriptions op.45 no.6 - Lucia di Lammermoor [7:36]
John CLINTON (1810-1864)
Le Delizie dell'Italia, series III no.18 - Come Gentil and La Morale in Tutto Questo from Donizetti's Don Pasquale [5:38]
Gilberto Fornito (flute)
Christopher Howell (piano)
rec. Studio l'Eremo, Lessona, Italy, 31 March, 14 April, 27 July 2012. DDD
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This disc is praiseworthy at various levels. Firstly for the ample selection of largely unknown repertoire for flute around Donizetti’s operatic music. Apart from Donizetti himself only Andersen rang a bell – perhaps Clinton somewhere dim and distantly. Secondly it is played with evident dedication and great spirit.
Rabboni’s positively torrid Linda di Chamounix runs the gamut from Beethovenian fist-shaking to splendidly acrobatic bel canto. It is more interesting as music than I had expected. Fornito rises to some outstanding demands as in the moto perpetuo displays in the Briccialdi – truly brilliant. Less interesting are the conventional offerings by Tomassi and Osborne. Donizetti’s flute sonata is in shadow and then in warbling flight.
We know the Danish flautist-composer and conductor Andersen from the extensive Danacord series. His lightly heard Lucia transcription is one of a series including similar read-across efforts for each for Nicolai, Bellini, Weber, Mozart and Boieldieu. Irishman Clinton’s dressing up of Don Pasquale - Come Gentil and La Morale in Tutto Questo - is gently and tenderly done.
Put this disc on in the background and you will find yourself all too easily drawn in – not just pretty tune caressing. Some allowance must be made for some faithfully rendered gallon-deep intakes of breath and an occasionally phlegmy delivery from Fornito. Nor is the flute sound as succulently full lipped as it might be. There’s a sort of piccolo tendency here. There’s also the occasional sense of the piano being set back in the room well to the left of the flautist.
The useful and detailed liner notes by Christopher Howell are in English and Italian.
  Rob Barnett
Put this disc on in the background and you will find yourself all too easily drawn in – not just the caress of a pretty tune.