Notes and Editorial Reviews
N. P. JENSEN
No.1 in e; No. 3 in F
Rune Most (fl); Frode Stengaard (pn)
dacapo 8.226054 (69:16)
Last year I wrote an enthusiastic review of a dacapo release of flute duets by Niels Peter Jensen featuring the same Rune Most, partnering Brazilian flutist Marcelo Barboza. At the time, I expressed the view that that
recording was Want List material. So I approached this new CD in a hopeful but worried state of mind. The problem of recording a beautiful CD is that the expectations for the next are too high, and hard to fulfill.
I need not have worried. The same winning team that made the CD of flute duets a joy to behold proves that their skills are honed, and repeat their excellent results. The two sonatas for flute and piano—op. 6 and op. 18—are lovely, and even though the fantasias will be of interest mainly to flutists, they are certainly worth recording, rising above the usual solo flute study material. Rune Most faces the challenge of playing the difficult solo pieces with determination and grace. The same graphic team (elevator-design) that made the flute duets CD an object pleasurable to look at produces another attractive cover; liner notes (by the same Jens Cornelius) are again informative and well penned; sound engineering (by Morten Mogensen) is top-notch; in short, everything that worked so well for the first CD is equally efficient here. Pianist Frode Stengaard fits perfectly into this competent group. The playing is smooth, simple yet flexible, with no hint of exhibitionism or exaggeration.
For decades now, I have learned to expect good surprises from that most civilized of countries, Denmark, besides great furniture and tableware design and the best-looking soccer teams in the world. Dacapo, supported by the Danish Arts Council Committee for Music, is a good example of how public institutions can have policies that actually make sense and deserve praise. Any person interested in the flute will find that Denmark is a flowing source of goodies; the more one looks in that direction, the more one can find wonderful composers, wonderful music, and wonderful interpreters, as well as a genuine governmental interest in the culture of the country and a willingness to give full access to its riches to the largest possible number of individuals. It is worth mentioning that the scores for all the pieces on this CD, as well as a huge array of flute pieces—both edited and in facsimile format—can be downloaded for free at the site of the Danish National library.
Coming back to the CD at hand—once again, this is not music that will change the history of humankind, and it will probably not move you to tears or make you fall in love with the flute if you happen to be a flute hater. But it is unpretentious music, composed with skill and wit, and rendered with equivalent mastery. A must for flutists, and warmly recommended to everyone else. Dacapo, please keep them coming!
FANFARE: Laura Rónai
Works on This Recording
Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 6 by Niels Peter Jensen
Frode Stengaard (Piano),
Rune Most (Flute)
Length: 23 Minutes 16 Secs.
Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 18 by Niels Peter Jensen
Rune Most (Flute),
Frode Stengaard (Piano)
Length: 27 Minutes 23 Secs.
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