Eldin Burton, Copland, Piston, Beryl Rubinstein, Lowell Liebermann & Higdon

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COMPOSERS: Beryl Rubinstein,Copland,Eldin Burton,Lowell Liebermann & Higdon,Piston
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: American Flute Music
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Jeffrey Khaner (flute), Hugh Sung (piano)
The Canadian flautist Jeffrey Khaner, principal flute of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1990, is a player of impeccable technique and well-focused tone, with an outstandingly clear, un-fluffy upper register. He and the crisply rhythmic pianist Hugh Sung are heard to good advantage in Copland’s Duo, written in 1971 in memory of an earlier Philadelphia principal, William Kincaid – though they might have brought out the unease of the central movement better at a slightly faster tempo, and with a little more flexibility of rhythm and colour. Khaner’s lowest register, little used in the Copland, is brought into play effectively in the slow movement of Walter Piston’s attractively Gallic 1930 Sonata. Of the more recent works, Lowell Liebermann’s 1988 Sonata is an effective vehicle for a virtuoso player, while the 1994 Autumn Reflection by the flautist-composer Jennifer Higdon proves unexpectedly wide-ranging in expression. The disc is completed by a Sonatina from 1947 by Eldin Burton, and a Sonata from 1941 by Beryl Rubinstein – both enjoyable in their easygoing tunefulness, though something more avant-garde would have given the programme greater variety. Still, this is a valuable anthology which should be heard by all admirers of first-rate flute-playing. Anthony Burton