Barber/Khachaturian

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Barber/Khachaturian
LABELS: Collins
WORKS: Violin Concerto (arr. Stinton); Violin Concerto (arr. Rampal)
PERFORMER: Jennifer Stinton (flute); The Philharmonia/Steuart Bedford
CATALOGUE NO: 13832 DDD
This is an energising disc containing two concertos originally conceived for violin, now adapted for the flute. Barber’s popular Violin Concerto (1940), successfully transcribed by the soloist Jennifer Stinton, receives its premiere recording, making a welcome extension to the all-too-meagre orchestral flute repertoire.

Advertisement

The original dedicatee of this concerto apparently thought the first two movements too simple, the third impossible. As Stinton confidently reveals, however, the main themes are ideal for showing off the wide-ranging expressive qualities of the flute. She takes on the last movement triplet-based Presto in moto perpetuo with driving dynamism, creating additional percussive effects from enthusiastic flute-key slamming. The articulation and sheer stamina are impressive.

Advertisement

Khachaturian’s concerto of 1940 is gushingly Romantic in style and Stinton approaches it with a similar sense of urgency. The triumphant melodies of the outer movements are contrasted with a delicate reading of the slithering, oriental-like theme of the Andante sostenuto. Both these works use large-scale orchestral forces which produce voluminous climaxes. Careful production means the flute is never drowned and always up front. Kate Sherriff