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The Magic Flute / Tia Roper

Release Date: 09/10/2013 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1437   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ransom WilsonGary SchockerFriedrich KuhlauJohann Joachim Quantz,   ... 
Performer:  Tia RoperMitchel Vines
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

THE MAGIC FLUTE Tia Roper (fl); Mitchell Vines (pn) ALBANY 1437 (76:08)

WILSON Carmen Fantasy. SCHOCKER Airborne. KUHLAU Fantasia in D. QUANTZ Sonata in B?. I. CLARKE Orange Dawn. Read more class="COMPOSER12">BOEHM Grand Polonaise. MOWER Opus di Jazz

Tia Roper is a distinguished flutist and teacher. A winner of the New York Flute Club Competition, she holds principal positions at the New York String Orchestra, the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra, and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra. Pianist Mitchell Vines, the music and choir director at the Unitarian Church of Summit, New Jersey, accompanies her on this, her debut recording. There is no music from the Mozart opera on this disc, which mixes contemporary flute music with selections from the 18th and 19th centuries. She opens with Ransom Wilson’s Carmen Fantasy , in which she and Vines play beautifully decorated music from the well-known opera. They offer variations on the “Habañera,” they imbue the “Chanson Bohème” with excitement, and they finish with a rousing version of the “Toreador Song.” Gary Schocker is a composer and flutist who knows how to make playing the instrument sound effortless. In his contemporary, jazzy composition Airborne you hardly notice where Roper breathes. Friedrich Kuhlau (1786–1832) was a Danish Royal Chamber Musician who composed a large volume of music. He also did a bit of recycling. One of the beautiful themes found in his (1821) Fantasia for Solo Flute can also be heard as Zerlina’s aria “Batti, batti, O bel Masetto” in Mozart’s Don Giovanni . Roper’s technique is secure and she plays this piece confidently, but there are occasions where her tone becomes a little harsh.

Pianist Vines joins her in a charming 18th-century Sonata by Johann Joachim Quantz, who taught flute playing to Frederick the Great of Prussia. His music is very different from that of the contemporary piece that follows it. Orange Dawn by Ian Clarke was inspired by dawn over the Great Rift Valley in East Africa. In the piece he describes animals seen vaguely against the drama of the rising sun and he creates sounds with an earthy quality, which Roper plays with a tapestry of color using Clarke’s alternative fingerings. Theobald Boehm’s Grand Polonaise takes us back to the Romantic era of the 19th century. Boehm is best known for his improvements to the flute. His Polonaise opens with a short piano theme that introduces a brilliant, virtuosic flute part, one that has kept flutists busy practicing for more than a century. Roper and Vines conclude their disc with saxophonist and flutist Mike Mower’s Opus di Jazz, a contemporary three-movement piece that shows the artists’ ability to play in a variety of styles. There are only a few comparable recordings of the music on this disc. Most versions of the Carmen Fantasy are with orchestra. Gary Schocker plays the flute on his own recording entitled Airborne , as does Ian Clarke on his recording, Orange Dawn . Most certainly they are the best interpreters of their own music, but Roper and Vines also give us interesting music from past centuries that is not easily found elsewhere. For that reason, I suggest buying The Magic Flute.

FANFARE: Maria Nockin
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Works on This Recording

Carmen Fantasy by Ransom Wilson
Performer:  Tia Roper (Flute), Mitchel Vines (Piano)
Airborne by Gary Schocker
Performer:  Tia Roper (Flute), Mitchel Vines (Piano)
Fantasia in D major for Solo Flute by Friedrich Kuhlau
Performer:  Tia Roper (Flute), Mitchel Vines (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821 
Sonata for Flute and Basso Continuo no 275 in B flat major, QV 1 no 161 by Johann Joachim Quantz
Performer:  Tia Roper (Flute), Mitchel Vines (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century; Germany 
Orange Dawn by Ian Clarke
Performer:  Tia Roper (Flute), Mitchel Vines (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Grand Polonaise, Op. 16 by Theobald Boehm
Performer:  Tia Roper (Flute), Mitchel Vines (Piano)
Opus di Jazz by Mike Mower
Performer:  Tia Roper (Flute), Mitchel Vines (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 

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