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Prokofiev, Franck, Etc / Piccinini, Haefliger

Release Date: 10/10/2006 
Label:  Avie   Catalog #: 2087   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei ProkofievClaude DebussyFranz LisztCésar Franck
Performer:  Marina PiccininiAndreas Haefliger
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Splendidly recorded and played with eloquence; these are two of the more salient features of a disc that democratically hands us two sonatas and two solo outings for Piccinini and Haefliger.

The Prokofiev is expected fare for a flautist. Whilst fiddle-fanciers know the D major sonata from the Oistrakh-inspiring Op.94a in its reclothing as a violin sonata, the flute was the original instrument. There is no shortage of recommendable versions and this proves another. Piccinini brings out the cool Gallic refinement of the sonata, where lyricism and more brittle flights are held in fine balance. Her articulation needs to be precise and her breath control optimum in the second movement and she proves equal to all such challenges.
Read more More than these questions however her tone colours are subtly deployed and Haefliger proves an adept, considerate and when necessary assertive partner – hear his crisply turned provocations in the finale. Overall this is a refined, languid but athletic traversal.

The Franck sonata is heard in the flautist’s own transcription. We’re very used to the cello arrangement but the flute certainly captures a great deal of the violin’s more aerial registration. What it can’t do, quite clearly, is to dig into the string – or emulate that resinous power – especially in the second movement. Here there is a character change and the sonata becomes a more elfin and less combative work. Still there is much to enjoy in this subtle realignment of character, tone and timbre. Trills are pellucid and the questioning rhetoric of the third movement is auspiciously conveyed. Sometimes the piano, for all Haefliger and the studio engineer’s skill, cannot help but rather overbalance the flute.

He contributes a finely constructed Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde and Piccinini an evocative and successful Syrinx. Given the nature of the programme I should add that the former seems rather anomalous in the context of a flute and piano recital.

The notes and booklet presentation are attractively done – typography and graphics are both thoughtful and pleasurable. The recording is well done and captures sonority with clarity and yet warmth. And the playing as such is first class. The Franck is a novelty, the Prokofiev a standard so it’s very much a question of whether the programme has sufficient balance to appeal.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Flute and Piano in D major, Op. 94 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Marina Piccinini (Flute), Andreas Haefliger (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USSR 
Venue:  Reistadel, Neumarkt, Oberpfalz, Germany 
Length: 23 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Reistadel, Neumarkt, Oberpfalz, Germany (11/14/2004 - 11/15/2004) 
Syrinx by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Marina Piccinini (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913 pub 1927; France 
Date of Recording: 05/24/2005 
Venue:  Reistadel, Neumarkt, Oberpfalz, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Isolde's "Liebestod" from Wagner's "Tristan", S 447 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Andreas Haefliger (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/28/2005 
Venue:  Reistadel, Neumarkt, Oberpfalz, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8 by César Franck
Performer:  Marina Piccinini (Flute), Andreas Haefliger (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
Venue:  Reistadel, Neumarkt, Oberpfalz, Germany 
Length: 27 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Marina Piccinini.
Reistadel, Neumarkt, Oberpfalz, Germany (11/14/2004 - 11/15/2004) 

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