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Cook is a modernist; his Sonatina is very chromatic though still generally lyrical. Bowen (1884-1961) is a (very) late Romantic and his music has therefore been unfashionable almost since it was written, which is rather a pity. In three movements totalling nearly seventeen minutes he has time to develop his ideas dramatically and work them out in ways which are hardly typical of the flute repertoire -- after all, the flute's characteristic qualities are grace, delicacy and agility rather than dramatic power or tonal variety. The Sonata succeeds, in part, because of Bowen's willingness to ask so much of both players. The last movement is particularly virtuosic but the first gives a better indication of the work's strength:

Listen -- York Bowen: Allegro, non troppo (Flute Sonata)
(track 11, 1:41-3:07) © 2008 Divine Art Ltd

Tavener's Greek Interlude is not as austere as his better-known liturgical music. Pastoral in mood but decidedly un-English, it falls into alternating episodes, each about a minute long. Reflective solo sections are marked off from transparently accompanied character pieces by bell-like piano chords.

Listen -- Tavener: Greek Interlude
(track 14, 2:33-3:32) © 2008 Divine Art Ltd

The last two tracks are encore items, a 'Danse Nègre' by Frederic Griffith and a brilliant Etude in D minor by Charles Stainer.

Redgate's tone is clear and flexible, resonant enough in the low register to ring through the piano sound but never shrill at the top of the range. She and Dussek are both nimble-fingered and assured at all times, and they create an excellent sense of ensemble assisted by a pleasingly natural instrumental balance.

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Copyright © 15 May 2008 Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia


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