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American Flute Concertos / Mary Stolper, Paul Freeman, Et Al


Release Date: 12/17/1999 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 46   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Lita GrierCharles Tomlinson GriffesVirgil ThomsonKent Kennan,   ... 
Performer:  Mary Stolper
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This thoroughly satisfying disc offers some of the best flute music this country has to offer. In this repertoire all of these composers have been under-represented on recordings and, with the exception of the works by Kennan and Griffes, these pieces are virtually unknown by the majority of flutists. It is wonderful, therefore, that we have such passionate advocates in Chicago-based Mary Stolper and Paul Freeman (conducting, of all orchestras, the Czech National Symphony). In every work, Stolper gives a master class in flute playing, demonstrating at once rock-solid technique, a limpid vibrato, and how to play a real pianissimo in the more difficult upper registers. These concertos are all
Read more immensely difficult for the flute, rivaling some of the technically challenging staples by Nielsen and Ibert. Thus the achievement here is all the more startling and confirms my frequent observation that the overall level of flute playing these days is probably at it highest level ever.


The common thread through these individual works is the creative melodic lines that make the most of the flute's strengths. You hear this especially in the wistful Andante section of Grier's Renascence, the opening pages of Griffes' Poem, the Lento of Thomson's Concerto, and the entirety of Kennan's other-wordly Night Soliloquy. By the same token, quintessentially American jazz elements and punchy syncopation infiltrate the pieces (listen to the last movements of the Grier and Siegmeister). Taken as a whole, this hour-long program is highly coherent and yet each piece is unique enough that tedium never sets in.


Freeman and his Czech musicians back Stolper with idiomatic, even enthusiastic accompaniments, making you wonder whether a U.S.-based orchestra (under, say, a Slatkin or Thomas) could do much better. Adding to the virtues of this disc is Cedille's engineering, which places the flute naturally within the orchestra, producing a realistic balance rarely found in concerto recordings. A must.
--Michael Liebowitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Renascence by Lita Grier
Performer:  Mary Stolper (Flute)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996 
Date of Recording: 06/1998 
Venue:  ICN-Polyart Studios, Prague 
Length: 10 Minutes 55 Secs. 
2.
Poem for Flute and Orchestra by Charles Tomlinson Griffes
Performer:  Mary Stolper (Flute)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1998 
Venue:  ICN-Polyart Studios, Prague 
Length: 10 Minutes 13 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Flute, Strings, Harp and Percussion by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Mary Stolper (Flute)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1998 
Venue:  ICN-Polyart Studios, Prague 
Length: 14 Minutes 25 Secs. 
4.
Night Soliloquy by Kent Kennan
Performer:  Mary Stolper (Flute)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1998 
Venue:  ICN-Polyart Studios, Prague 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
5.
Concerto for Flute by Elie Siegmeister
Performer:  Mary Stolper (Flute)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1998 
Venue:  ICN-Polyart Studios, Prague 
Length: 20 Minutes 55 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Renascence: I. Allegro con spirito
Renascence: II. Andante
Renascence: III. Presto
Poem: for Flute and Orchestra
Concerto ... Roger Baker: I. Rapsodico
Concerto ... Roger Baker: II. Lento
Concerto ... Roger Baker: III. Ritmico
Night Soliloquy for Flute, Strings and Piano
Flute Concerto: I. Moderato
Flute Concerto: II. Andante
Flute Concerto: III. Vivace, ritmico

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