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No, I didn't forget the first two items on the disc. I just don't think they deserve the prominence the track order gives them.

As Baxtresser observes, François Devienne, a French contemporary of Mozart, is barely known today except to woodwind players. His early Duo was composed for two flutes, as Baxtresser does not observe, but is actually more interesting anyway on contrasting instruments, as performed here, because the interplay of parts is clearer. It is distanced from the rest of the disc by a century or more and is a slight work in any case so, pleasant though it is, it is hard to regard it as anything more than a filler.

Madeleine Dring was a mid-twentieth century English composer and actress whose main compositional activity was in song-writing; her work pops up occasionally in collections of 'British Light Music'. Her Trio was composed for her husband, oboist Roger Lord, in 1968. The outer movements have some acerbic post-impressionistic harmonic twists but most of the pleasure to be had from the work is in the slow second movement, where Dring is happy to spin a flowing cantilena over a light accompaniment without worrying about musical fashion [listen -- track 4, 0:00-1:30].

Performances are polished throughout. Every little detail is just so, and the balance is always good. If there is any fault in the interpretation it is a tendency to play for the moment rather than strive to bring out the longer-range structures or fully individualise the pieces. With moments as beautiful as these, it's a fault that is easily forgiven.

Copyright © 12 May 2007 Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia


Jeanne Baxtresser - Chamber Music for Flute

CACD0544 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 65'26" 2006 Cala Records Ltd

Jeanne Baxtresser, flute; Cynthia Phelps, viola (Devienne); Joseph Robinson, oboe (Dring, Barber Summer Music); Pedja Muzijevic, piano (Dring, Gaubert); Alan Stepansky, cello (Gaubert); Israela Margalit, piano (Barber Canzone, Copland); Stanley Drucker, clarinet (Barber Summer Music); Judith LeClair, bassoon (Barber Summer Music); Philip Myers, french horn (Barber Summer Music)

François Devienne (1759-1803): Duo for Flute and Viola in C minor Op 5 No 3 (1779) (Allegro molto con espressione; Rondeau); Madeleine Dring (1923-1977): Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano (1968) (Allegro con brio; Andante semplice; Allegro giocoso); Philippe Gaubert (1879-1941): Three Watercolours for Flute, Cello and Piano (On a Clear Morning; Autumn Evening; Serenade); Samuel Barber (1910-1981): Canzone for Flute and Piano Op 38a (1959); Summer Music for Wind Quintet Op 31 (1956) (Slow and indolent; Faster; Lively, still faster; With motion, as before; Joyous and flowing; Tempo I); Aaron Copland (1900-1990): Duo for Flute and Piano (1969-71) (Flowing; Poetic, somewhat mournful; Lively, with bounce)




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