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Stardrift for solo flute, written in 1992 by Edwin Roxburgh (born 1937) for the London International Flute Convention, resembles the movement of the planets against fixed stars. Its astronomical-pictorial connotations combined with touches of virtuosity led to Milan suggesting it as a test piece, yet for Menuhin Music Guides, Roxburgh was preoccupied with his 'other' instrument -- the oboe. Stardrift's five sections encompass the whole universe of stars. I was particularly impressed.

Sonata for flute and piano by Brian Lock (born 1967) was given its London première in 2004, but Susan premièred the work in Seoul, South Korea. Peruse the composer's prolific catalogue with his publisher Faber Music, under the Brian Lock Ensemble, then plot his contributions to film music -- especially in Poland and America, and television. The Sonata is in three contrasting movements.

Out of the Cool (1986) by Dave Heath (born 1956) is a free-style recitative, with responses from the piano. I first heard -- and liked -- Heath's music when it was included in the Wigmore Hall's John Dankworth Jazz series. Passionate and exciting, there is nothing of the 'elitist' about this composer, instead his love for the solo flute, together with the freedom of composing and involving the passionate growth of development in surging rhythms and visceral excitement.

The Colour of Pomegranates for alto flute and piano (1994) by Julian Anderson (born 1967) is conversational, smoky toned, featuring high register reeds. There is also a short nocturne reflecting a scene from the Armenian film of the same name, directed by Paradjanov (a Park Lane Group commission).

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Copyright © 10 March 2007 Bill Newman, Edgware UK


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