Bridge Across the Pyrenees

COMPOSERS: Borne,Ibert,Rodrigo
LABELS: BIS
ALBUM TITLE: Sharon Bezaly
WORKS: Fantaisie brillante surdes airs de Carmen; Flute Concerto; Concierto Pastoral
PERFORMER: Sharon Bezaly (flute);Sao Paulo SO/John Neschling

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Full-time solo flautists thrive on composers you rarely get to hear. Bezaly’s blossoming discography duly features pieces by Antál Dorati and Paul Kletzki, and the present release counts, in terms of flute repertoire, as one of her most mainstream.

To that extent it makes a superb calling card and a recommendable way of collecting three works not otherwise available together. Bezaly’s energy and brilliance produce a more incisive account of the Rodrigo than its dedicatee, James Galway.

Sparky staccatos fly over the lightly scored, piquant colours of the orchestral support, while the Moorish-tinged melody of the middle movement is affectingly shaded. François Borne’s century-old virtuoso recooking of favourite Bizet appears in a quirkily orchestrated version with some slightly ghoulish lower woodwind.

The more sophisticated Ibert, by turns fleet and highly strung, is one of the genre’s masterpieces, its scoring an object lesson in combining flute with a bigger orchestra.

Its 20 minutes encompass fizzy symphonic working and a substantial, intricate finale in the French tradition which is right up Bezaly’s street.

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The Sao Paolo orchestra, neat but a little detached in parts of the Rodrigo, catches Ibert’s fleetness and deft accentuation within the ample acoustic of the city’s concert hall.