English music for flute -
'... the Tavener alone would justify the purchase ...'
Celia Redgate plays upon a range of meanings for the phrase that is her title: English music for flute, an English style of flute playing, music that has been important to English flute players, and her instrument -- a wooden Boehm flute made in England in 1921 by Rudall Carte -- itself. The first of these is by far the most important.
The music spans the century or so from Edward German to Tavener. Its Englishness emerges most clearly in the pastoralism which derives primarily from Vaughan Williams and is most obvious in the items by Christopher Redgate and Michael Head. Allied with that is a tendency to prefer sweetness and balance to dissonance and tension.
There is a half-hidden agenda to The English Flute: it is a tribute to Redgate's teacher, Gareth Morris (1920-2007). Accordingly, the music selected revolves around him and his circle, particularly at the Royal Academy of Music, where Morris, both the performers, and all but one of the composers studied and/or taught. Wooden flutes have significance, too, since Morris also played one.
Copyright © 15 May 2008
Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia