Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Nielsen Flute Concerto and works by Poulence, Hue & Liebermann

Lowell Liebermann: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 39 (1992)
Georges Hüe: Fantaisie
Francis Poulenc/Berkeley: Sonata for flute, Op. 164
Carl Nielsen: Concerto for flute and orchestra, FS 119 (1926-27)

Katherine Bryan - flute
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/ Paul Daniel

Linn CKD 367

This is a very pleasant disc which gets better and better as you play it through. Therefore, it is unfortunate that Linn's publicity (perhaps with an eye to the American market?) features so prominently the first and longest item, Liebermann's avowedly conservative and tonal concerto.

Katherine Bryan, 1st flute of the RSNO, provides an enviable CV; she's done, and can do, everything. I enjoyed the Hüe competition test piece.

Poulenc's delightful sonata was new to me in Lennox Berkeley's orchestral version; it goes very well.

But it is the absurdly neglected Nielsen concerto (with bass trombone the flute's alter ego) which makes this disc a recommendable purchase to Musical Pointers readers.

Is her playing, as recorded in a resonant hall, just a little too comfortable? Nielsen himself gives a clue: in the discursive liner notes (reproduced in full on the Linn website - congratulations on that, immensely helpful for download purchasers) we read "the flute cannot deny its own nature - - it prefers pastoral moods. Hence, the composer has had to follow the mild character of the instrument - - ".

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this concerto completed in 1927 (my birth year) has the most modern music in Bryan's fine portrait CD, which took two days recording last summer, and is presented with all Linn's renowned care and technical excellence.

Peter Grahame Woolf