One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Préalable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases



The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation


such a success


An outstanding performance


make acquaintance without delay


Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc


Strong advocacy
for a British composer


Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted


Piano Music 5CDs


Consistently fine


Rare and interesting repertoire


An excellent introduction


A Celebration on Record


An issue of importance


Richard RIJNVOS
A splendid disc


both enlightening and rewarding
additional review

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Josef SCHWANTNER (b. 1943)
Soaring (1986) [1:35]
Looking Back (2009) [20:21]
Black Anemones (1980) [5:02]
Taking Charge (2012) [25:15]
Sarah Frishof (flute)
Daniel Pesca (piano)
Ji Hye Jung, Lee Vinson (percussion: Taking charge)
rec. January 2014, Lied Center, Lawrence, Kansas US.
CENTAUR RECORDS CRC3458 [52:13]

Serious new concert repertoire for flute is relatively thin on the ground when compared to instruments such as the violin, but highly respected composer Josef Schwantner has long embraced the instrument’s “vast expressive and technical potential and the ever seductive sonic world it inhabits.” This recording brings together a fine programme of works both established and brand new, this recording of Taking Charge being a world premiere.

Soaring is a brief but intense virtuoso showpiece for both flutist and pianist, who fly in and out of each other’s lines, the piano also shadowing the flute’s notes at times to further enhance its sound. This moves into the opening of Looking Back in an almost uninterrupted stylistic line. Compos in the memory of flutist and teacher Samuel Baron, Schwantner admits to ‘looking back’ to previous works when commencing a new project, and this catalyst results here in a colourful and substantial threemovement work in which the flute is put through its paces though always with genuine musical intent and often very surprising and beautiful results. The central movement Remembering… is a flute solo, the music exploring numerous effects that transform the material into things rich and strange.

Black Anemones is transcribed from a song originally for soprano and piano, its expressively lyrical lines perfectly suited for flute, the lack of a text allowing the imagination to carry you wherever it cares to wander.

Taking Charge for flute and piccolo, percussion and piano is a sharp contrast, opening with urgent and exciting rhythms, the clarity of the recording delivering punchy depth and shimmering sparkle in the wide sonic range of the percussion instruments. The second movement is a slow piece for piccolo and atmospheric fields of sound coming initially from non-pitched percussion instruments, the low thrum of harmonic pedal tones gradually taking over while the piccolo appears to improvise with its five-note theme above. Piccolo players will inevitably think of movements from Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux Étoiles and there are indeed comparisons to be made – this is a very effective combination, towards the end the piccolo removing itself and vanishing into the distance as the piano repeats a lonely tolling.

Sarah Frisof is among other things principal flute with the Dallas Wind Symphony and a frequent performer with the Dallas Symphony. She has performed with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony and Boston Symphony, and has also appeared at the Verbier, Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals. Her playing here is superb, as is that of the other musicians here. Soaring, Looking Back and Taking Charge have also appeared on the innova label with flutist Jennie Oh Brown. Comparing via a streaming service, this recording is very good but inhabits a more resonant acoustic and therefore has less clarity and power in the rhythmic movements of Looking Back. with Soaring Halo for multiple flutes makes this another Schwantner collector’s choice but if you want just one disc I think Taking Charge is the more interesting piece, and Sarah Frishof’s album the more satisfying all-round.

Dominy Clements

 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage


a vibrant slice of life


BRITISH CELLO WORKS
stylistically assured


About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs


Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome


An inspired partnership
additional review


TOSCA
A valuable document



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger