COMPOSERS: Arnold,Hamilton & D Matthews,L Berkeley,Maw,York Bowen
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: British Flute Music
WORKS: Music by York Bowen, L Berkeley, Maw, Arnold, Hamilton & D Matthews
PERFORMER: Jeffrey Khaner (flute), Charles Abramovic (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: AV 0016
This attractive and ingeniously constructed programme traces a line from Lennox Berkeley’s tuneful Sonatina of 1940, through the snappy Sonatina which Nicholas Maw wrote in 1957 while studying with Berkeley, to the neatly constructed Duet Variations of 1982 by Maw’s pupil David Matthews. It complements these works with the fluent late-Romantic Sonata of 1946 by the pianist-composer York Bowen, idiomatically written for flute as well as keyboard, the deceptively simple Sonata of 1977 by Malcolm Arnold, and three charming miniature nature-paintings composed by Iain Hamilton in 1996, towards the end of his life.
As on his earlier disc of American music, which I reviewed in August, Jeffrey Khaner, principal flautist of the Philadelphia Orchestra for the last 12 years, displays virtuoso technique, even tone-production, and secure intonation, which even stands up to potentially painful unisons with the piano in the highest register. All one could possibly demand in addition from him, and from his excellent pianist Charles Abramovic, is a little more responsiveness in tone-colour and phrasing to the music’s varying styles and moods. The recording is fine. Anthony Burton