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Prelude Cocktail
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 [6:50]
from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 [7:49]
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
from 24 Préludes, Op.28 [4:14]
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
from 24 Préludes, Op.11 [3:03]
from 5 Préludes, Op.15 [1:33]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
from Préludes, Book 1 and 2 [11:13]
George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Three Préludes [6:54]
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
from 24 Préludes, Op.34 [9:26]
from 24 Préludes and Fugues, Op.87, nos. 7, 3* and 15* [12:10]
Katherine HOOVER (b.1937)
Two Préludes† [5:41]
Roshanne ETEZADY (b.1973)
Three Préludes† [7:12]
Zara Lawler (flute, piccolo and alto flute), Paul Fadoul (marimba and vibraphone), Christopher Grymes (clarinet)*
rec. 17-18 July 2012, main sanctuary, Our Lady of Good Councel, Vienna, VA, USA
Private release no catalogue number [78:05]

What a refreshingly original idea this disc represents with every track a world première. The majority are arrangements made by the two soloists for their unique combination of either flute, piccolo or alto flute and marimba or vibraphone. It certainly helps you discover another level of appreciation for these wonderfully tuneful works.
It was no surprise to find that the Debussy works transcribed perfectly since Debussy’s uniquely magical musical language seems to work no matter what combination is attempted. The same goes for Chopin but to find the same fascinating sounds work with compositions by such disparate characters as Bach, Scriabin, Gershwin and Shostakovich is nothing short of a revelation. In a short but pertinent introduction Gary Race points out that there is a dearth of collaborative endeavours in this fast-paced world of instant communication. The two soloists here have a ten year track record of doing just that. It has borne an enormous amount of fruit in the shape of performances, concerts and broadcasts as well as commissions and these brilliantly inventive arrangements.
Everything on Lawler + Fadoul’s debut disc on their own label (no catalogue number) is an unalloyed pleasure. With the Bach pieces you might perhaps have expected them to sound lovely transcribed for the flute but with a “well-tempered” marimba? ... oh yes. We then are treated to the bitter sweetness of the largo from Chopin’s no.4 prelude in E minor and the other-worldly fantasies of Scriabin. Next we are transported to the laid-back 1920s of Gershwin’s America and then to the wry and often bitter humour of Shostakovich.
The two commissions are also superbly written little gems, both from 2012, by two American women composers whose music I shall now be seeking out.
With a disc such as this it is virtually impossible to select highlights as these two soloists know so well what they are about that everything works like the proverbial dream.
These tracks are world première recordings of arrangements by Lawler and Fadoul. The Hoover and Etezady pieces are world première recordings of these works. They were commissioned as part of the duo’s Gronica Project to increase the repertoire for their instrumentation.
This would have made an excellent “stocking filler” had I received it early enough to have recommended it as such. Equally it would be a wonderful thing to present to anyone as a New Year gift - they’d absolutely love it.
Steve Arloff