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Ballade - Works For Flute & Piano - Faure, Et Al / Martin, Sanchez, Welch, Et Al

Release Date: 11/10/2009 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1286   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Henri DutilleuxCharles Tomlinson GriffesFrank MartinGabriel Fauré
Performer:  Kara Kirkendoll WelchGabriel Sanchez
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is the debut recording from Dallas Symphony Orchestra flute player Kara Kirkendoll Welch, with a programme of late romantic and twentieth century works.

Dutilleux’s Sonatine is played here with a gently undulating opening and a sweet tone. Welch has good technical control and a clear sound which is enjoyable to listen to. At times I would have liked a little more sense of drama; this is a piece which can show a full range of expression and dynamic range. I very much enjoyed the lighter moments in the piece, with its nimble
Read more semiquaver movement and well-phrased lines, but I missed the energy in the crescendos and the exhilaration that can come from a little more aggression at moments.

Poem by Charles Griffes follows, and the opening is winningly phrased. There are some beautiful moments from pianist Gabriel Sanchez too, who plays with a wonderful sensitivity. There is more drama in this performance, and Welch’s style of playing suits the work well.

Martin’s Ballade is another well-loved flute work of the twentieth century, with a sense of romanticism combined with a distinctive harmonic voice. Welch and Sanchez build up the tension effectively with increasing intensity and broodingly dark moments from the piano.

Fauré’s Sonata No 1 was originally composed for violin and piano, but has been arranged and adopted into the flute’s repertoire. A substantial four movement work, lasting around twenty-five minutes, it is written in a rich romantic style, with flowing lines and a strong sense of melody. The sprawling first movement is elegant and graceful, with interesting harmonic developments and a sense of constant movement. The second movement is a gentle andante, with long phrases and an over-riding sense of calm. The short third movement is energetic and light, with fleeting technical work. Here I felt the piano was slightly stronger than the flute in both balance and clarity. The final movement is a return to the lyrical style of the opening, with flowing lines and building strength.

Overall, this is an enjoyable disc, which is played well and has a sense of polish. Both players have an impressive command of their instruments and play with musical phrasing. The flute is often a little overshadowed by the piano in the balance, and in general I would have liked a greater sense of power in the forte sections, with more variety in the dynamic range. Welch excels with the more gentle, expressive side of the repertoire, but I didn’t feel enough energy at the louder end to keep me fully immersed in the musical expression. Nevertheless, this is a good first recording and I look forward to hearing more from this duo.

-- Carla Rees, MusicWeb International  Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonatine for Flute and Piano by Henri Dutilleux
Performer:  Kara Kirkendoll Welch (Flute), Gabriel Sanchez (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; France 
Poem for Flute and Orchestra by Charles Tomlinson Griffes
Performer:  Kara Kirkendoll Welch (Flute), Gabriel Sanchez (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; USA 
Ballade for Flute and Piano by Frank Martin
Performer:  Kara Kirkendoll Welch (Flute), Gabriel Sanchez (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Switzerland 
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in A major, Op. 13 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Kara Kirkendoll Welch (Flute), Gabriel Sanchez (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; France 

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