Maderna, Risset, Donatoni, A Clementi, Cesa, Cresta, Hosokawa & Grego

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COMPOSERS: A Clementi,Cesa,Cresta,Donatoni,Hosokawa & Grego,Maderna,Risset
ALBUM TITLE: Flute XXth Century, Vol. 2
WORKS: Works by Maderna, Risset, Donatoni, A Clementi, Cesa, Cresta, Hosokawa & Grego
PERFORMER: Roberto Fabbriciani (flute), Alvise Vidolin (live electronics)
Debussy’s Syrinx and Varèse’s Density 21.5 have a lot to answer for. Since the Fifties, those early 20th-century classics for solo flute have been the models for a seemingly unstoppable flow of works for the same instrument, from composers who relished its agility and the neutrality of its sound-world. It’s a limited resource, though; all but the earliest work on this disc was written for the phenomenal Roberto Fabbriciani, and listeners have reason to be grateful for his artistry, for without it many of these pieces would be distressingly dull. Five of the eight use electronics, either a pre-recorded tape or real-time transformations, but in fact most of what can be squeezed out of the combination of flute and its artificial alter ego is to be found in Bruno Maderna’s pioneering 1952 Musica su due dimensioni. Even distinguished composers like Jean-Claude Risset and Aldo Clementi fail to come up with anything truly involving, though Gianvincenzo Cresta’s Sospesi anonimi, diseredati, poeti does invent some engaging textures. The most convincing pieces here are those for flute alone by Donatoni and Mario Cesa, both of which create genuinely rich sound-worlds from the flutterings, key-tappings and heavy breathing with which Fabbriciani complements his fabulous tone and technique. Andrew Clements