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Flute tones

on the unusual in ensemble

Metier    MSV CD92041

The Scottish Flute Trio. Feasibility studies. (c) 2000 Metier Sound & Vision


The average music lover can generate intolerance towards the flute family. The beauty of its basic tone in a comfortable range is unquestioned: high altitude flying unleashes a different quality.

With that feeling understood, I assure you all of the fascination generated by the content of this CD The music is both technically and musically challenging , with a striking dimension (no pun intended) added by the wealth of delicate percussion scored into the music.

We in the UK have become so unused to the name of Thea Musgrave since her move to America some years back that her music is now rare in Europe. Voices from the Ancient World [listen -- track 6, 1:33-2:33] for this group is music strongly linked with a non-musical idea for which a successful outcome is crucial. Drawing on Greek legend and its variety of gods and goddesses has resulted in a sequence of contrasted sound pictures where delicacy plays a crucial role. Thea Musgrave has lost none of her sensitivity.

Gordon McPherson's Three Minute Philosophy (real time duration 12') treats the instruments en bloc in waves of repetition, thereby creating an obsessive density of sound. In Edward McGuire's Celtic Knotwork [listen -- track 8, 2:31-3:31] his deep interest in 'knotwork' cultures is reflected in the unison opening and closing from which expansion is created and then systematically abandoned. Django Bates brings his jazz background into prominence in Bird Tableau. Musically it varies in effectiveness, which is partially due to 14 minutes' duration.

The general effect of this CD is firstly admiration for the performers in a tough programme. By presenting recent music from good composers the venture is also enlightened.


Copyright © 25 April 2001 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK






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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series of shorter CD reviews