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CPE Bach Flute Concertos
H431, 435, 438 and Sonata for Flute in A minor

Orchestre d'Auvergne/ van Beek / Juliette Hurel (flute)

Zig Zag ZZT070301

Great disc, great label. I very much like Zig-Zag's style of CD packaging, with a folding cardboard wrapper, a slot for the booklet and a plastic tray glued on. I know that many conservative record buyers object to it being derived from popular music, but I like its robustness, ease of opening and closing, and indeed of removing the booklet. However, it also allows full scope for the original artwork of Anne Peultier which graces all their releases.

Great music? That probably depends on whether you are a flautist. Juliette Hurel is the new kid on the block, receiving plaudits wherever she goes; here she plays the three concertos with great panache, the solo sonata with engaging intimacy. I know CPE Bach's works are cherished parts of the baroque flute repertoire, though I cannot say I respond to them personally.

As the notes tell us, CPE Bach was involved with writing flute music because both his king, Frederick the Great, and his boss, Quantz, were flautists. Near the end of his life, J.S. Bach did meet King Frederick, and it is supposed that the unfinished Art of Fugue resulted. Bach fils' contribution is less searching, he transcribed these concertos from their original, harpsichord form, but adapted the pasagework to suit the new solo instrument.

Hurel is principal flute of the Rotterdam SO, she plays with great feeling (seemingly not on a baroque flute?). All the slow movements are delightful; she clearly has excellent technique too, with sparkling runs and sequence passages.

The music, I must admit, is too same-y for me to listen to the whole disc easily at once. But heard in sections, it is excellent and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Jill Crossland

Zig Zag