Classics Today 10/10; Klassik Heute 10/10/10; CD Compact: CD of the Year.
Sharon Bezaly / Nobuko Imai / Ronald Brautigam – leading names on their respective instruments (flute, viola and piano). One great advantage of the recording medium is that it brings together musicians who would normally be too busy to sit down and play chamber music together. Here we have a disc featuring three remarkable musicians who have pooled their resources in the performance of some highly original repertoire. Not surprisingly where the flute is concerned, much of the music originated in France. Yet here it is not a matter of nineteenth century repertoire – of which there is an almost endless quantity featuring the flute – but of works written (with one exception) during the twentieth century. The programme starts with a trio by Maurice Duruflé; a rare work indeed, since this is the only piece of chamber music that the ever self-critical Duruflé chose to publish. Of the other composers, Reynaldo Hahn is one of those people whose name is more frequently heard than his music. That this is unjust is amply proven by the works presented here: a trio, two pieces for flute and piano, as well as a solo piano suite of “Portraits of Painters” based on poems by Hahn’s friend Marcel Proust. Moving eastwards, Mieczyslaw Weinberg is a real "find" – a Polish composer who was forced to flee from the Nazis and who came under the wing of Shostakovich who spoke most warmly of his powers as a composer. The final work is from a highly unexpected source: the great pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva. Famed for her definitive performances of the piano music of Bach and Shostakovich her career as a composer is much less known outside her native country. In fact she left a substantial oeuvre including symphonies, concertos etc. A unique programme performed with the utmost panache by some of the finest musicians on the planet!
Some press voices:
"For interesting repertoire, excellently played and gorgeously recorded, this disc will be hard to beat." ClassicsToday.com
"A stunning program of chamber music ... the trio achieves a beautiful sound that is light an uninhibited but also very warm in color." American Record Guide, September 2004
"Beautifully recorded, and played by these distinguished artists with a dreamy panache that fits hand-in-glove with the music, this is one of those albums that shouldn't be passed over ... a highly distinguished release." International Record Review, April 2004
"Le trio israélo-néerlando-japonais révèle une complicité exemplaire et touchante, qui s'exprime avec beaucoup de naturel dans un geste musical généreux et frémissant... Une très heureuse découverte." Classica-Répertoire, July 2004
"La interpretación de los tres artistas es supremas, con un sonido impecable y una gran propiedad en las texturas." CD Compact, September 2004
"Klanglich, interpretatorisch und auch vom Repertoirewert kann man diese Einspielung nur loben. Eine runde Sache!" Klassik Heute
"Wundervoll mischt sich Bezalys energisches, aber auch überaus lockeres Flötenspiel mit Brautigams weichem Anschlag und dem samtenen Bratschenteppich Imais." Fono Forum, July 2004