Flute Concertos by Mozart and Nielsen performed by Juliette Bausor

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mozart,Nielsen
LABELS: Signum
ALBUM TITLE: Mozart * Nielsen
WORKS: Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 1 in G; Andante in C; Rondo in D; Nielsen: Flute Concerto
PERFORMER: Juliette Bausor (flute); Royal Northern Sinfonia/Jaime Martin
CATALOGUE NO: SIGCD 467

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Like Philippe Bernold on his new recording (review above), Juliette Bausor pairs Mozart’s First Flute Concerto with the Andante in C, adding the Rondo (K373) for afters. Bausor – principal flute in the London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Mozart Players, and member of Ensemble 360 – is more expansive than Bernold; she takes almost half a minute more than her French counterpart in the first movement of the concerto, and another 15 seconds in the third. Conversely, Bausor’s Adagio movement, is significantly faster than the Aparté recording. Bausor’s sound is equally glorious, but Bernold’s fleet-fingered approach is more effective in the faster sections. This also applies to the Andante in C; Bausor adds nearly an extra minute on to Bernold’s time. Music is not simply about speed, of course, but the clear difference in pacing is worth due consideration. Elsewhere, Bausor’s Romantic spin on Mozart’s more wistful sections works well, as demonstrated in the Andante in C.

Nielsen’s Flute Concerto is one of the most exciting and experimental 20th-century concertante works for that instrument, and Bausor’s command of rubato serves her well here. The Royal Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Jaime Martin, gives a thrilling performance; the Allegro moderato contains all the necessary foreboding and turbulence. Bausor’s cadenzas are spectacular: plaintive, jagged and, finally, tranquil. The second (and final) movement is poignant, beautiful and transformative – worth exploring.

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Claire Jackson