COMPOSERS: Aho,Arnold,Bozza & Berio,CPE Bach,J Andriessen,JS Bach
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: From a to Z, Vol. 1
PERFORMER: Sharon Bezaly (flute)
CATALOGUE NO: CD-1159
This is the first in a projected 12-volume series of music for unaccompanied flute. Even to this lapsed flautist, whose memory recalls little beyond the Bach and Debussy classics other than dreaded study exercises for the solo instrument, this extent of repertoire comes as something of a welcome surprise, and the journey promises to be an interesting one. Sharon Bezaly has chosen to tackle it, moreover, in alphabetical order, with Vol. 1 taking us from Aho to Bozza (if someone like Adès or Benjamin decides to add to the repertoire, he’s missed the boat, I’m afraid). Artistically, the rewards of this approach are considerable, providing a diverse mixture of styles in swift succession, from the cool Baroque tones of JS Bach’s A minor Partita and the proto-Classicism of CPEBach to the piercing quarter-tones of Aho’s Solo III and the exuberance of Berio’s flute Sequenza.
Nothing seems to faze Bezaly, her technique as it were invisible behind the sheer musicianship of her playing, and the range of tone she produces from an instrument often condemned as monochromatic is breathtaking. The church acoustic used is perhaps a little over-reverberant for the fastest passagework, but better that than studio dryness. In a musical world where unaccompanied music is dominated by the strings, this series should put the solo flute repertoire well and truly on the map. Matthew Rye