French Delights

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Milhaud,Pierre Sancan and Benjamin Godard,Roussel,Widor
LABELS: BIS SACD
WORKS: Works by Widor, Roussel, Milhaud, Pierre Sancan and Benjamin Godard
PERFORMER: Sharon Bezaly (flute), Barbara Hendricks (soprano), Love Derwinger (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: BIS SACD-1639 (hybrid CD/SACD)

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Like lovers of cheese, flautists are all but obliged to be francophiles, such is the instrument’s quantity of repertoire. French Delights is an apt title for Sharon Bezaly’s latest selection of choice morsels, all genuinely charming and fun in a quintessentially French way.

Bezaly and pianist Love Derwinger clearly enjoy themselves, whizzing through the streams of notes in the ‘Final’ of Widor’s Suite, opening Milhaud’s Sonatine with an easygoing nonchalance, and beguilingly entwining Barbara Hendricks’s voice in Roussel’s Deux Poèmes de Ronsard.Bezaly’s ravishing tone is perfectly suited to the relish these composers have for the flute’s sonorous qualities.

Occasionally a fraction more space would be welcome, so that the music falls away rather than plummeting from the opening note of Roussel’s Joueurs de flûte.

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These are trifling caveats, whereas the bathroom acoustic leaves some passages, including swathes of Sancan’s Sonatine, in a fug of resonance. It is a pity as there is much to savour here.