WINTER Flute Concertos: No. 2 in d; No. 1 in d. F. P. LACHNER Flute Concerto in d. ROSETTI Flute Concerto in E? • Bruno Meier (fl); Jaroslav T?ma (hpd); Antonín Hradil, cond; Prague CO • NAXOS 8.570593 (80:04)
World premiere recordings of any major works for my instrument understandably tend to kindle my interest right away, even before I listen to them. When they are works fromRead more the past, which have been forgotten for no fathomable reason, they get a special place in my CD collection. When, besides, they consist of delightful music, played with flair and competence, they inspire an especially emphatic recommendation. But this CD does more, and deserves more: it introduces to the music-lover no less than four previously unrecorded concertos, each one special in its own way, each one, by itself, worth the price of the CD.
The four concertos presented here were written at different times, and for diverse instrumental forces, but have enough in common to justify being gathered in the same recording, as the liner notes convincingly explain. The performances are equally convincing. Bruno Meier is a brilliant soloist, with a robust, round tone, amazing technique that seems to come naturally to him, a commendable sense of style, phrasing that is musical and flexible, and a personality that basks under the responsibility of facing an imposing orchestra. He displays bravura, wit, fluid legatos, a stunning variety of attacks, and a correspondingly big dynamic scope. His pianissimos are delicate and clean, the fortissimos bold and dense. The cadenzas that he wrote himself are all appropriate, virtuosic, and interesting.
The Prague Chamber Orchestra under Antonín Hradil’s secure baton offers the perfect counterpart for such a soloist, giving him the needed support without crushing him under a sea of sound. The strings are tight-knit and nimble, and the winds—particularly important here, for they engage in long dialogues with the solo flute—are all first-class soloists in their own right. Let’s not forget T?ma’s creative harpsichord accompaniment. Everybody seems to be having a great time. And as we know, fun is contagious. You will find it hard not to join in.
Bruno Meier was responsible for the research that unearthed these concertos as well as many other praiseworthy flute works that had been long forgotten in dusty library shelves, works that he has been recording over the years. Composers like Krommer, Myslive?ek, Reicha, Vanhal, and Witt have gained a second lease on life thanks to his careful musicological research and loving performance. If you are at all interested in musical curiosities, in the flute, in music from the past, or simply put, in good music well played, don’t miss this CD, especially at Naxos’s very affordable prices. If you are a flutist yourself, getting to know these works is simply mandatory, no matter at what cost.