- Conductor: None
- Composer: Christopher Rouse and Jacques Ibert
- Audio CD (20 May 2013)
- Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
- Label: Linn
- ASIN: B009G7WV0U
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,550 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Katherine Bryan plays Flute Concertos by Christopher Rouse and Jacques Ibert (SACD, plays on all players) Hybrid SACD, SACD
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Young flautist Katherine Bryan is rapidly establishing her place as one of Britain's bright musical stars of the future.For her second recording on Linn,the in-demand concerto soloist performs a selection of 20th century concertos plus Debussy's Syrinx and Frank Martin's Ballade.The Flute Concerto by American composer Christopher Rouse is among his most successful and widely performed works since its debut in 1994.Rouse's concerto calls for astonishing pyrotechnics for both the flute and the orchestra;Katherine is able to showcase the sheer quality of her technique and her playing.French composer Jacques Ibert's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra is one of the best-loved and most frequently performed concertos in the flute repertoire.Full of humour,virtuosity and intense technical challenges for the soloist,it is characteristic of Ibert's eclectic,versatile compositional style.Despite being only a little over three minutes long,Debussy's Syrinx has achieved iconic status and is regarded as an essential piece in any serious flautist's repertoire.Martin's Ballade features wide harmonic leaps and tests the full range of the instrument,not least with a memorable section for the low register which sees Katherine relish the challenge.
About the Artist
Katherine Bryan is a rising star having appearing as concerto soloist with leading orchestras worldwide,as well as being principal flautist with the RSNO.Katherine has appeared at major international festivals as both concerto soloist and recitalist.She has given live broadcasts on Classic FM,BBC Radio 3 and BBC television.Katherine was a prize-winner at the Royal Overseas League Music Competition in London,the Young Concert Artists International Competition in New York and was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year for three consecutive competitions.She was also awarded the Julius Isserlis Scholarship by the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Top customer reviews
Bryan's control throughout the instrument's range is impressive as is her mastery of the demands of the repertoire. But it is her sensitivity in the slower movements that gave most satisfaction to this listener.
This second CD further builds the reputation of this fine player.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Ms. Bryan is a flutist of the first order, her playing sensitive and flowing. She handles the Rouse Concerto in a like manner. The flute enters almost immediately, wistful and slightly melancholy, Ms. Bryan giving it an achingly beautiful turn. Interestingly, each of the five movements provides the listener with a different mood, so after the brief, slow introspection of the first movement, handled mostly by the flute, we get a stricter tone in the second movement, in which the orchestra plays a much bigger part. Still, Ms. Bryan's flute dances along within the proceedings at a fairly good clip, the music building to something of a frenzy, I assume representing the boy's death. The central and longest movement, marked Elegia, is a serious lament on the senseless killing. Again, we hear a warm, fluid voice from Ms. Bryan's flute as the melody takes flight and hovers for its few minutes' duration, as the whole thing builds to a huge climax before falling off into quiet. The fourth movement is a Scherzo, utilizing a number of percussive effects to punctuate the flute, and it serves to highlight Ms. Bryan's skillful playing talents. The final movement provides another slow, lyrical, spiritual note, much as the first movement had, but sounding more Celtic in its mood and phrasing.
Ms. Byran helps us understand why Rouse's Flute Concerto has entered the basic repertoire; it's sincere, direct, and moving. The composer says about the piece, "In a world of daily horrors too numerous and enormous to comprehend en masse, it seems that only isolated, individual tragedies serve to sensitise us to the potential harm man can do to his fellow. I followed this case closely during the time I was composing my concerto and was unable to shake the horror of these events from my mind."
The disc’s accompanying works are no less accomplished in Ms. Bryan's hands. The Concerto for Flute and Orchestra by Jacques Ibert (1890-1962) presents a contrast to the more-solemn Rouse piece. The Ibert is lighter, livelier, and more humorous, yet it offers Ms. Bryan an equal challenge in virtuosic demands. The album concludes with two short solo works, the first, Syrinx, by Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and the second, Ballade, by Frank Martin (1890-1974), both of which Ms. Bryan plays with a strong emotional fluency, always graceful and poignant. As with the entire program, they afford the flutist ample opportunity to show off her versatility to good effect.
Linn Records producer and engineer Phillip Hobbs recorded this hybrid two-channel stereo and multichannel SACD in October 2012 at Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK. The sound in the two-channel SACD mode to which I listened is wonderfully airy, focused, and glowing, everything you'd expect from an audiophile recording. Ms. Bryan’s flute appears almost in the room with the listener, the orchestra realistically providing the needed support at an appropriately lifelike distance behind her. When the orchestra does come into its own, it does so with a commendable transparency, yet there is always a compensating ambient bloom from the hall that mitigates any possible hardness or harshness that the clarity could bring with it. The orchestral depth is good, the width (or spread) is natural for the moderate miking distance involved, and the dynamic range, frequency response, and transient impact are all exemplary.
John J. Puccio