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News from November 2010

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Recital: November 25th 2010

06 Nov 2010

Programme to include Liebermann's fantastic Flute Sonata and works by Martinu and Hahn.

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Latest Reviews

02 Nov 2010

The Scotsman
25th October 2010

Regular fans of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra will be well aware of principal flautist Katherine Bryan's prowess as both an orchestral player and concerto artist. Here she is in the latter role in an exquisite debut recording that combines Lowell Liebermann's gorgeous flute concerto (written for James Galway and laden with plentiful shades of Prokofiev) with the flirtatious virtuosity of Poulenc's Flute Sonata (orchestrated by Lennox Berkeley), an exotic little Debussy-flavoured Fantasie by Georges Hue, and Carl Nielsen's playful Flute Concerto. Bryan's natural musicality breathes an alluring quality into every performance, accompanied by her RSNO colleagues under conductor Paul Daniel.

Kenneth Walton

24th October 2010

Liebermann's concerto is somewhat Hollywood-esque, not that there's a problem with that in itself and it is nice to have melodic C20 scores recorded for a change but listeners should be aware that this is not the most intellectually satisfying 25 minutes they will ever hear. The tempo marking "moderato" for the first movement is merely to allow for demi-semiquavers, which Bryan copes with consummate (one might even say nonchalant) ease. The dialogue between leader and Bryan in the Molto adagio is most effective and she displays her ravishing, floating tone to the full here before displaying a much harder edge in the vigorous Presto finale. Bryan expresses about this work, in a short welcome note, similar sentiments to Julia Fischer about the Khachaturian concerto - the same dedicated and thrillingly virtuostic approach is also common to these artists.

Hue's Fantasie starts with a curiously Scottish feel before diverting to a more continental, Francophone style. In both, Bryan sounds completely at ease and displays consummate virtuosity, especially in the more exotic (quasi-Arabian finale). More Francophone playing (via England this time) in Lennox Berkeley's arrangement for orchestra of Poulenc's Flute Sonata. It is hard to slide a card between Bryan and Bezaly's account (Bezaly, Brautigam - Masterworks for Flute and Piano 2) - both are superb and whilst purists will necessarily favour the BIS recording, I would be loathe to be without Berkeley's inspired transformation; especially given such a vivid and tender account.

Closing the disc is Nielsen's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, a very different proposition stylistically as the opening orchestral flourish demonstrates. Bryan, the RSNO and Daniel adjust well to the changed musical landscape and the myriad of technical difficulties contained, particularly in the finale. The playing is sure to make even the most sceptical listener warm to Nielsen's idiom if they have not before.

John Broggio

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