Luminance 'solo & Duo Works For Flute And Piano'
French composers predominate on this recital of music for solo and flute duet from terrific flautists Anna Stokes and Lisa Friend.
A substantial number of virtuoso flute works exist as a result of the 'Concours Pieces' from the Paris Conservatoire. Begun in 1860 under the professor of flute (and founder of the modern French school of flute playing) Paul Taffanel, two of these test pieces for solo flute are included: Chaminade's Concertino and a Fantasie by Hue.
In amongst all things French is Piazzolla's Oblivion, in a charming personal arrangement by Lisa and Anna.
Other European schools of playing are also represented; Carl Joachim Andersen was a 19th century Danish flute virtuoso who suffered paralysis of the tongue, giving up playing and concentrating on conducting; but his Three Pieces (Trois Morceaux) remain popular with flautists and audiences.
Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine, best known for choir in it's original version, features here in a beautiful arrangement by eminent flute pedagogue Trevor Wye.
British flautist, Lisa Friend commenced her studies in New York with Renee Siebert of the New York Philharmonic. At seventeen, Lisa won a Scholarship to the Royal College of Music where she studied with Susan Milan. Twice winner of the Martin Music Scholarship, this enabled her to study at the Paris Conservatoire with Alain Marion and Ida Ribera.
Award-wining flautist Anna Stokes studied at the Royal College of Music and is an established orchestral and chamber musician. Founder of the Emanuel Ensemble, she has given recitals in the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and across the UK.
- Sleeve Notes
French composers predominate in this recital of attractive music for one (or two) flutes, though they do not have the field quite to themselves. 'His music is neo-classic, but threatened with modernism', was the curious comment that the critic André Coeuroy applied to Fauré's younger contemporary Philippe Gaubert (1879-1941). Gaubert was a refined and civilized member of the impressionist movement in France who is chiefly remembered ' though he wrote in many genres, including opera and ballet ' by his compositions for the flute, his own instrument: he became principal flautist in several of the Paris orchestras and, in 1919, professor of flute at the Paris Conservatoire, where he also conducted the concerts of the Conservatoire's Orchestral Society. In the same year he became principal conductor of the Paris Opéra, which with his other appointments placed him at the very centre of French musical life. Medailles Antiques, which was originally written in 1916 for flute, violin and piano, is typical of the French turn-of-the-century obsession with the mythic, Arcadian world of ancient Greek pastoral, typified by Pierre Lou''s poetic cycle Chansons de Bilitis and Debussy's songs and Epigraphes Antiques that drew on those poems. Indeed Gaubert's work seems in some places to echo Debussy's in its vernal fragility and freshness. The tremulous playfulness of 'Nymphes ' la fontaine' contrasts with the more robust rhythms ' not devoid, however, of melancholy ' of the concluding 'Danses'. Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) enshrines the intimate relations of popular and classical in Argentinian concert music. As a bandoneon virtuoso and band-leader he became one of the most original exponents of the tango, Latin America's most celebrated dance; at the same time he longed to write symphonic and chamber works. He studied with Ginastera in Buenos Aires and Nadia Boulanger in Paris and eventually, despite much opposition, effected a fusion of classical concert forms with the sinuous rhythm and passion of tango. Enormously prolific (over 1000 pieces!), with works ranging from concertos and orchestral suites to a multitude of dance numbers, Piazzolla was truly to the Tango what Johann Strauss II was to the Waltz. The tango Oblivion (1982) has become one of Piazzolla's most widely known works, partly due to its appearance on the soundtrack of Marco Bellocchio's film Henry IV. It has appeared in many different arrangements, including for klezmer clarinet, saxophone quartet, and orchestra ' and on the present CD for two flutes and piano. The piece's extreme melodic melancholy is underpinned by a harmonic scheme of unobtrusive sophistication. The flautist, composer and conductor Franz Doppler(1821-1883) was born a citizen of the Austrian Empire in Lemberg ' the city later known as Lw'w in Poland that is now Lviv in the Ukraine. Taught by his father, whose instrument was the oboe, he made his debut as a flautist at the age of 13. His younger brother Karl was also a flautist and they formed a duo, performing to great acclaim throughout Europe. They both became members of the orchestra of the German Theatre, Budapest, in 1838 (at the age of 18, Franz was first flute there) and they moved in 1841 to the Hungarian National Theatre where five of Doppler's operas were eventually staged. The brothers helped to found the Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra in 1853. Later Franz moved to Vienna, becoming first flute at the Vienna Court Opera, and eventually becoming its chief conductor. He was also Professor of Flute at the Vienna Conservatoire 1864-67. Doppler wrote seven operas and many ballets, and was acknowledged as a brilliant orchestrator (he made the orchestral versions of six of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies); but he is chiefly renowned for his flute compositions. Many of Doppler's works for two flutes (which include a concerto) were presumably originally written for he and Karl to perform together. The Andante and Rondo, Op.25, which also exists in a version for flute, violin and piano, contrasts warm-hearted lyricism in the first movement, which is almost a sublimated operatic duet, with a delightfully raffish Rondo in Hungarian gypsy style. This Hungarian influence is also found in the Duettino, Op.36, which in some editions is actually entitled Duettino on a Hungarian Motive. The 'motive', introduced by the flutes, is a melody in the verbunkos style out of which gypsy music was developed, and in three short movements Doppler rings the changes on it in a series of variations. Despite coming from a non-musical Parisian background, Cécile Chaminade (1857- 1944) was a child-prodigy pianist and composer and ' since the Paris Conservatoire did not then admit women ' studied privately with several eminent teachers, including Le Couppey (for piano), Savard (for counterpoint, harmony and fugue), Benjamin Godard (for composition) and also the violin with Martin Marsick, a pupil of Joachim. Furthermore she attained proficiency as a conductor, made her concerto debut at the age of 18, toured widely, and became a well-known public figure, eventually receiving the Légion d'Honneur. In the course of her long life Chaminade produced around 350 works: she was most famous for her short, lyric piano pieces, many of which became very popular, but also wrote a comic opera, a ballet, a choral symphony, chamber and orchestral music and over 100 songs. Her Concertino for flute and piano, Op.107 (it is sometimes heard in the version for flute and orchestra), was composed in 1902 as an examination piece for flute students at the Paris Conservatoire and is dedicated to the celebrated French flautist and teacher Paul Taffanel who, after a long playing career in the Paris Opéra Orchestra, served as Professor of Flute at the Conservatoire from 1893 until his death in 1908. With its wide-ranging, elaborate solo part, Chaminade's highly attractive Concertino is certainly an effective test of the flautist's skill. After a moderately paced and graceful opening section, there is a more animated (and agitated) central section before a cadenza for the flute introduces a reprise of the opening melody. In its original form Gabriel Fauré's (1845-1924) Cantique de Jean Racine, Op.11, is a work for mixed chorus and piano, or organ. He wrote it in 1864-5 at the age of 19, and it won him the first prize when he graduated from the École Niedermeyer, where he had been studying. There were subsequent arrangements with an accompaniment of string orchestra or for full orchestra. The text is a paraphrase by the famous 17th-century tragedian Jean Racine of the Latin hymn 'Consors paterni luminis', used for Tuesday matins. Such a choice accorded well with Fauré's predilection for old church music, especially those involving the Gregorian modes, and the restrained melodic charm of the piece is given new life in the present arrangement for two flutes. Saint-Sa'ns' (1835-1921) Odelette in D major, Op.162, for flute and piano (or orchestra) dates from 1920 and is thus is a very late work, one of a number of woodwind works composed by this veteran composer shortly before his death in 1921. (He had planned to write a flute sonata, and he did achieve sonatas for clarinet, oboe and bassoon.) In style, however, it could be a piece of the 1850s. The title means 'little ode' or 'little song', and it was a popular name for girl babies in the 19th century. It is clear that in this piece, with its discreet curlicues of ornamentation, Saint-Sa'ns displays his interest in the music of Islamic countries, producing a graceful, elegant work with occasional hints at oriental mode. Born at Versailles into a family of architects, Georges H'e (1858-1948) studied with Gounod and César Franck, and in 1879 won the coveted Prix de Rome with his cantata Médée. He wrote a number of operas and ballets which were highly successful in their time, including Titania, an impressionistic piece loosely based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Siang-Sin (1924) a ballet-pantomime created for a Chinese Spring Festival (H'e travelled extensively in the Far East). He wrote in many other genres ' his choral music is admired ' but it is mainly his compositions for flute that have retained a place in the repertoire. Like Chaminade's Concertino, H'e's Fantaisie (1913) began life as a competition piece for the Paris Conservatoire; H'e dedicated it to the great French flute teacher Adolphe Hennebains and later made a version with orchestra. This ravishing work shows a distinct influence of Debussian impressionism. The hieratic, incantatory opening section, Assez lent, featuring intricate roulades from the flute, leads into a meltingly beautiful main melody, Modéré. After a return of the introductory music the piece moves into a skittish, vivacious dance, building to an ending of great bravura and rhythmic impetus. Jacques Ibert (1890-1962) was a pupil of Gabriel Fauré and André Gedalge at the Paris Conservatoire, and spent a large part of his career in Rome as an officer of the Académie de France at the Villa Medici. Though he came from a wealthy merchant family he had to support himself in his musical career, and did so by working as an accompanist at the Paris Opéra, by composing light music of various kinds, and by playing piano in the cinema. He was a prolific and adaptable composer whose output includes many types of music, though he is still probably best-known for his comparatively vulgar Divertissement based upon his incidental music to Labiche's play The Italian Straw Hat. In fact he was a master of many styles, poised between impressionism and neo-classicism on the one hand, and on the other between a profoundly French sensibility and a much more cosmopolitan taste. As he once declared, 'What I like to do is what others do not ... I avoid every theoretical scheme of which I might become a slave and write only according to the demands of my own sensitivity'. In 1946 he composed the Deux Interludes, originally for flute, viola (or violin) and harp (or piano, or harpsichord) and clearly influenced by Debussy's late Sonata for flute, viola and harp. While the first movement, Andante espressivo, is a grave lyrical meditation with a somewhat courtly, Baroque air, the brilliant, dance-like second movement (Allegro vivo) has a distinct Spanish flavour, as do several of Ibert's other works, contrasting joyous energy with smouldering romantic passion. The Danish flute virtuoso and conductor Carl Joachim Andersen (1847-1909) was born and died in Copenhagen, where from 1894 until his death he was conductor of the popular Sunday Palace Concerts and the concerts at Tivoli Gardens. Before then he had played in the orchestra of the St Petersburg Opera and in 1882 was a co- founder of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He was obliged to give up playing and concentrate on conducting owing to paralysis of the tongue. Andersen wrote a great many flute works as well as eight volumes of études for his instrument which are still in use. The Trois Morceaux (Three Pieces), Op.57, were dedicated to his sister, and the first of these, a romance in E flat entitled Le Calme, is still in the repertoire of many players. Despite its title the piece gets quite animated as the long-breathed opening melody, accompanied by rippling piano arpeggios that persist almost throughout, is worked up to a central climax and then gradually relaxes to a peaceful close.
- Press Reviews
"Anna Stokes and Lisa Friend are superb flautists"
"...a charming collection, beautifully played and recorded."
- Classic FM Online
"The entire album is a delightful exercise in melody harnessed to technique, and it will be a hardhearted listener indeed who can resist it."
- James Manheim, All Music
"The young ladies sashay alluringly to the gentle tango of the Argentinian Piazzolla's Oblivion and have the measure of the witty dialogue of the German Franz Doppler's Duettino."
- Rick Jones, Words and Music Blog
- BBC Music Magazine
"Sweet-toned, superbly stylish performances all round from Lisa Friend and Anna Stokes, who enjoy alert support from Mark Kinkaid at the piano."
- Andrew Achenbach, Classical Ear
The flute playing itself is luscious...
... it is the shimmery quality of the flute sound that is most captured here."
- American Record Guide
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