MIDEM Classical Award 2006; Gramophone: Editor's Choice; Classics Today 10/10; Music Web International: outstanding; Klassik Heute: 10/10/10.
Three composers, three countries, one flutist. On this unique disc, Sharon Bezaly, who the reviewers have styled “a Paganini of the flute” (in Diapason) and “a complete soloist, an artist of genius, an interpreter to be listened to” (in Musica), has brought together three works written for her by the Scandinavian composers Kalevi Aho (Finland), Haukur Tómasson (Iceland) and Christian Lindberg (Sweden). Each in his own way a great communicator, these composers have created flute concertos that are certain to take their place in the repertoire. The soloist herself has described them as follows: “a monumental piece, in effect a symphony for flute and orchestra, intense, magical and poetic with its awakening to a new dawn, a reconciliation beyond despair” (Aho); “complex orchestral textures intertwined with an urgent intensity of the flute part leading to an end of meditative sheer beauty, evoking the splendour of Icelandic landscapes” (Tómasson) and “lively, jazzy and full of zest, a mixture of different moods” (Lindberg). In order to create the most favourable conditions for this recording, Sharon Bezaly packed her flute and went flying to Lahti, where Osmo Vänskä and Lahti Symphony Orchestra are thoroughly acquainted with the musical language of Aho; to Reykjavik and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra under Bernhardur Wilkinson; and to the Swedish Chamber Orchestra with Christian Lindberg conducting his own work. As you will hear, the result is spellbinding.
Some press voices:
“All three concertos, while each following very diverse expressive paths, are imbued with a fantastical and luminous quality that surely derives from the player... a joy to listen to…” The Gramophone, Awards Issue 2005
"Bezaly's mesmerizing artistry ... has virtually redefined what most of us consider the flute capable of ... It is impossible to imagine this beguiling performance ever being bettered..." International Record Review, July 2005
"Unter dem Strich eine für Flötenfreunde unentbehrliche CD, die aber auch jeden Hörer interessieren dürfte." klassik.com
"Wonderful stuff... the Spell will soon weave its magic as you listen to these three very different works... Bezaly plays the works she has inspired, whether on flute or alto flute, with immense authority and sensitivity..." Music Web International
"An amazingly talented performer, Sharon Bezaly deserves great credit for inspiring a run of really good, modern music ... Kalevi Aho's Flute Concerto is a genuine masterpiece from a composer working at the height of his considerable powers." Classics Today.com
"Drei herausragende Flötenkonzerte skandinavischer Komponisten – und jedes für sich ein Juwel ... Die Interpreten, allen voran die souverän gestaltende Sharon Bezaly, spielen auf höchstem Niveau und lassen diese fantastische Produktion zu einem einzigen Hörvergnügen werden." Klassik Heute