Notes and Editorial Reviews
Strictly speaking two of the four works on this disc are not flute concertos at all: the Honegger, like the Richard Strauss Duet Concertino, is a chamber concerto for two equal instruments and the Poulenc is an orchestral transcription of the Flute Sonata, but let that pass!
Here is an intelligently planned and excellently recorded programme which forms a wonderful showcase for this highly accomplished soloist. In the Nielsen, Steuart Bedford adopts a rather measured tempo for the first movement at barely crotchet=100, which is the lower end of the markings suggested by the score (100-112). He is certainly slower than Myung-Whun Chung for Patrick Gallois (BIS/Conifer) or Michael Schønwandt for Toke Lund Christiansen (Chandos), both of whom make much more of its dynamic nuances and contrasts of character. (The string entry—bar 48, track I, 2'08", for example—is not really pianopianissimo.) Jennifer Stinton plays with considerable dash and virtuosity. More perhaps could have been made of the contrast in mood in the second movement (bar 94, track 2, 1'25") and generally speaking, the impression conveyed is that the orchestra is less inside the idiom than in the more straightforward Ibert and Poulenc score.
...There are good, thoroughly expert performances of the popular Ibert Concerto and Sir Lennox Berkeley's transcription of the Poulenc. Those who have heard the extraordinarily attentive and intense playing Steuart Bedford secured from the ECO in Britten's Violin Concerto on the Collins Classics label (12/90) will find the playing here somewhat less subtle. All the same, this is an enjoyable disc and Stinton plays with artistry and charm—and as I have said, the recording is first class, both in respect to balance and naturalness and presence. Recommended.
-- Gramophone [8/1991]
reviewing the original release of this title, Collins 1210