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Liebermann Flute Concerto and Works by Hue, Poulenc & Nielsen Hybrid SACD - DSD

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, September 1, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

'A great British hope...a rising star in the arts firmament.' The Times

'She has reached such a level of effortless and natural music-making...creating an exceptionally rich colour spectrum.' Helskini Sanomat

Young flautist Katherine Bryan is rapidly confirming her place as one of Britain's bright musical stars of the future. For her recital debut the in-demand concerto soloist performs a selection of 20th century concertos, including the rarely recorded Liebermann Concerto for Flute and Orchestra.
- The Liebermann concerto has rarely been recorded in its entirety. Commissioned and originally performed by James Galway, the concerto is considered one of the most substantial and significant additions to the flute repertoire in recent years.

- Considered 'a flautist's dream composer' (BBC Music Magazine) Liebermann's writing is full of optimistic,
audience-friendly and tuneful melodies with rapid-fire fingering passages that showcase the technical prowess of the soloist.

- The inclusion of works by Hüe, Nielsen and Poulenc in the programme shows the particular diversity of the flute, demonstrating the variety of repertoire composed for the instrument during the twentieth century. Katherine's most recent performance of the Nielsen Concerto with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra received rave reviews.

- Katherine Bryan is a rising star having appearing as concerto soloist with leading orchestras worldwide, as well as being principal flautist with the RSNO.

- As both concerto soloist and recitalist she has performed with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Nurnberger Symphoniker, New York Philharmonic and spent the summers of 2001 and 2002 in Japan with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra working with conductors including Charles Dutoit.

- Katherine was a prize-winner at the Royal Overseas League Music Competition in London, the Young Concert Artists International Competition in New York and was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year for three consecutive competitions. She was also awarded the Julius Isserlis Scholarship by the Royal Philharmonic Society.

Review

How nice to come across an album in which the featured work - though by a contemporary composer - is just as tonal as those by the other three composers. In fact, in some ways the Nielsen Flute Concerto sounds the least tonal of all four. These are all lovely works for flute and orchestra that show off that combination in just as enjoyable a fashion as any violin or piano concerto. And when you have the virtuoso playing of Ms. Bryan, the excellent support of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the top-flight hi-res surround provided by Linn, you have a really winning product.

Lowell Liebermann's three-movement concerto followed on his earlier Sonata for Flute and Piano and a Sonata for Flute and Guitar, so his overtly tonal Flute Concerto has a fine grasp of the particular abilities of the instrument and has become a favorite of flutists around the world. The Moderato opening movement offers a beginning repetitive theme in the strings which is then heard in a series of variations during the rest of the movement. The middle movement is serene and lyrical, developing the pastoral qualities at which the flute excels. The closing Presto movement is a virtuoso workout in a rondo-like form.

Georges Hüe's short Fantaisie has been part of the flute repertory for almost a century, but its delights were new to me. Especially attractive to my ears are the excursions into impressionism - sounding sometimes almost like a companion to Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. Poulenc's chamber works for woodwinds are some of the gems of French music. His Sonata for Flute and Piano has had many performances and recordings, along with his similar sonatas for oboe and for clarinet. Flutist James Galway commissioned composer Lennox Berkeley to arrange the Flute Sonata into a Flute Concerto in 1976. British composer Berkeley was much influenced by French music and Poulenc had been an influence on him, so the choice was perfect. Over the course of its three movements, the new concerto lets the solo flute portray a variety of different emotions and moods, but supported by the richer orchestral textures. The first movement moves constantly between major and minor, and closing Presto giocoso movement is fast and jolly. The translation to a concerto is so successful that I think it will become my favored version of this work.

Nielsen's Flute Concerto of 1926 has had a number of recordings. In just two movements, it emphasizes the idyllic qualities of the flute, giving it a free, improvisatory style. Thruout the work the bass trombone of the orchestra acts almost as a nemesis of the flute, in an interplay between the two instruments not without humor.

With the improved presence and realism of the solo instrument and the clearer spatial separation between it and the orchestra, I find most any concerto recording to be a better experience on multichannel SACDs, and this one is no exception. The note booklet is also well-written and to the point. Bravo Linn for a fine addition to the SACD discography.

10 September 2010
John Sunier --Audiophile Audition

This is a very pleasant disc which gets better and better as you play it through...Katherine Bryan, 1st flute of the RSNO, provides an enviable CV; she's done, and can do, everything. I enjoyed the Hüe competition test piece.

Poulenc's delightful sonata was new to me in Lennox Berkeley's orchestral version; it goes very well.

But it is the absurdly neglected Nielsen concerto (with bass trombone the flute's alter ego) which makes this disc a recommendable purchase to Musical Pointers readers.

Is her playing, as recorded in a resonant hall, just a little too comfortable? Nielsen himself gives a clue: in the discursive liner notes (reproduced in full on the Linn website - congratulations on that, immensely helpful for download purchasers) we read 'the flute cannot deny its own nature - - it prefers pastoral moods. Hence, the composer has had to follow the mild character of the instrument - - '.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this concerto completed in 1927 (my birth year) has the most modern music in Bryan's fine portrait CD, which took two days recording last summer, and is presented with all Linn's renowned care and technical excellence

06 September 2010
Peter Grahame Woolf --Musical Pointers

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Lowell Liebermann, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra Op. 39: I. Moderato
  2. Lowell Liebermann, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra Op. 39: II. Molto adagio
  3. Lowell Liebermann, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra Op. 39: III. Presto
  4. Georges Hüe: Fantaisie
  5. Francis Poulenc, Flute Sonata Op. 164: I. Allegro malinconico
  6. Francis Poulenc, Flute Sonata Op. 164: II. Cantilena: Assez lent
  7. Francis Poulenc, Flute Sonata Op. 164: III. Presto giocoso
  8. Carl Nielsen, Flute Concerto, FS 119: I. Allegro moderato


Product Details

  • Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Conductor: Paul Daniel
  • Composer: Lowell Liebermann,  Francis Poulenc,  Carl Nielsen,  Georges Hue
  • Audio CD (September 1, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Linn
  • ASIN: B003Y77SVK
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,081 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard the Liebermann Concerto on our local fine arts station and immediately loved it.
The disc is everything mentioned in above reviews and more. The sound is immaculate.
The playing is exquisite, soloist and orchestra, and the other pieces are beautifully executed.

An exceptional disc in so many ways, as memorable as being at a live concert.

Thanks to KUSC for playing the disc here in L.A.
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By SB on July 2, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This album is a must have for all music lovers and musicians. The album showcases fantastic concertos that are a departure from the standard flute concertos. The playing by Katherine Bryan is stunning. The entire album is exquisitely done. I hope that she comes to play in the United States so that we can see her live!
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