Various Artists

Masterpieces for Flute

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This brief sampler of flute music -- featuring artists who play and endorse Yamaha instruments -- is a little better than its promotional presentation might suggest, but it is not much to rave about, either. Julius Baker's studio performance of Carl Reinecke's Sonata "Undine," Op. 167, is the most polished and professional, yet it appears to have been given pride of place more because of Baker's reputation than for the piece's musical value, which is slight. After this, the disc is uneven and of somewhat lower quality. Bradley Garner's performances of Aaron Copland's Vocalise, Eran Dinour's Metamorphosis, and Wilhelm Popp's Polonaise are competent, but suffer from being recorded in a live recital without benefit of editing or decent mixing. Jim Walker plays the selection from Mozart's Magic Flute and Fauré's Fantaisie in a studio setting, though neither performance is particularly inspired or skilled beyond college-level standards. Alison Young's performance of the first movement of David Diamond's Flute Concerto shows much of her virtuosic abilities, and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Charles Anthony Johnson, gives her solid backing. While there is enough decent music in this program to warrant casual interest, the most sympathetic audience for this CD may be flute students and their teachers.

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