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Widor: Suite For Flute And Piano; Et Al / Pahud, Le Sage

Release Date: 11/02/2004 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 57813   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Charles-Marie WidorRichard StraussCésar Franck
Performer:  Eric Le SageEmmanuel Pahud
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Not being a big fan of flute transcriptions (is anyone, aside from flutists?), I approached this disc with some trepidation, particularly concerning the Strauss Violin Sonata. As it turns out, there was no reason for concern. Emmanuel Pahud has a bigger tone than quite a few violinists I could name, and in Eric Le Sage he has an ideal accompanist: characterful enough to take center stage and smart enough to know when to yield the spotlight. Beyond that, the Strauss sounds marvelous, better in some ways (lighter, fresher) than it often does in its original version. The opening movement has a certain joyous radiance that's really quite special. It's also very good to have the Widor Flute Sonata in a major recording. Widor was a very good Read more composer who deserves to be known well beyond his organ works, and this pithy, substantial work deserves a wide audience. The way Pahud and Le Sage tear into the passionately virtuosic finale makes it one of the disc's true high points.

All of which brings us to the Franck, which of course has been recorded to death in its flute transcription, most notably by no less than Martha Argerich and James Galway. This version certainly stands proud in that exalted company, not just for Pahud, but for Le Sage's marvelous account of the piano part. Indeed, I would give him primary credit for keeping the performance moving smartly forward while achieving a marvelous clarity of articulation, both in the tricky third-movement gear-shifts as well as in a finale whose sweetness and innocence still gives the impression of sufficient energy to represent a true culmination. My only quibble concerns the sonics, which place Pahud too close and render his timbre more breathy than he sounds live. Given the big sound that he produces, this kind of treatment really is unnecessary. Still, flute fanciers--and chamber music enthusiasts--will find much to enjoy in this extremely successful and unusual recital.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Suite for Flute and Piano, Op. 34 by Charles-Marie Widor
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano), Emmanuel Pahud (Flute)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; France 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Music Hall, Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 17 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat major, Op. 18 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Emmanuel Pahud (Flute), Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Music Hall, Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 28 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8 by César Franck
Performer:  Emmanuel Pahud (Flute), Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Music Hall, Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 27 Minutes 48 Secs. 

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