The Flute Network Recommends..... ... Two CD's and a set of DVD's

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From the December 2008 issue

There's a really cute graphic that goes here too; all rights reserved. There's a really cute graphic that goes here too; all rights reserved. There's a really cute graphic that goes here too; all rights reserved.

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1. Squarely in the Holiday Spirit; A CD by flutist and flute maker Leonard Lopatin performing traditional and ancient songs and carols on his concert and alto SquareONE flutes. You can hear samples and download individual tunes for $0.99 each (or the whole album for $9.99), here: http://www.digstation.com/AlbumDetails.aspx?albumid=ALB000018757. If you would like to buy the CD instead of downloading it, order it directly from Lopatin through this link: http://www.lopatinflutes.com/ContactUs.htm

Lenny Lopatin, former piccolo player in the Metropolitan Opera, is a fine flutist as well as innovative a flute maker in Ashville, NC. His flutes feature square tone holes, which give them a special quality of articulation and smoothness of tone that is apparent in his performances on this recording of 20 songs of the winter holiday season. Included are traditional carols as well some beautiful less familiar gems. Lopatin’s sound is clear and singing; his interpretations are expressive, and he brings out the appropriate mood of each of these poignant tunes. With his rich resonant tone and heartfelt phrasing, the unaccompanied flute sounds full and complete. This CD would make an excellent gift for your friends—or yourself! (…and it brings back wonderful memories of the festive holiday music and decorations at the Biltmore estate in Ashville.) (J.E.P.)

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2. Teleman Fantasias for Solo Flute. A CD by Rachel Brown playing Baroque flutes. Released by UpperNote Records. Price: $19 plus $2.50 shipping from England. Order on-line at: http://www.rachelbrownflute.com/shop.htm.

Rachel Brown is definitely one of my favorites of the many fine players of early flutes currently active in the field of historical music performance. She is a most eloquent performer on one-keyed flutes. Her intonation, her brilliant and well-focused tone, her dazzling finger work, and her artistic interpretations are simply the best you will ever hear. She plays these works with just the right amount of fantasy and freedom, yet with clear purpose and control. Her ornamentation feels improvisational and surely would have pleased Telemann as it follows his models and instructions faithfully. She brings these solo works to life in a way that makes them flow and which brings out the harmonic content underpinning the melodies to make a satisfying whole.

For more information on her background and to hear samples from this and her four other outstanding solo recordings, go to her website: www.rachelbrownflute.com. Be sure also to download her extensive essay on the origin and style of Telemann’s music and the performance practices involved in performing these exceptional solo pieces accurately in the style intended by Telemann. (J.E.P.)

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3. Video Master Class series by Laurel Zucker. Four one-hour long DVD lessons with Zucker students. Published by Cantilena Records. Price $22 each. You can order and see a preview on-line at: www.laurelzuckermasterclass.com

DVD # 1 covers two solo works: Debussy’s Syrinx and Sigfrid Karg-Elert’s Caprice No. 1; DVD # 2 features J.S. Bach’s Partita in A minor; DVD # 3 focuses on G. P. Telemann’s Fantasie No. 1 and Karg-Elert’s Caprices No. 2-5; and DVD # 4 contains Ernest Bloch’s Suite Modale for flute and piano. The master class performers are from her very talented students at California State University, Sacramento: Kim Davis, William DeRyk, Amy Norris, and Bill Damian. The fine, supportive piano accompaniment is provided by Tatiana Scott.

Those of you who have followed her as she has produced recording after outstanding record of her marvelous flute playing may have wondered how Zucker does it, how she conceives of and interprets each work. We now have an extensive live exposition of her concepts and approach to playing the flute. The DVDs are well-edited and of very high quality realistic sound and video resolution. (The clarity of the video is not at its best in full widescreen format on computers, however, so, be sure to experiment to find which size and setting is best for your setup.) The introductory graphics, layout, and sound are just stunning. Zucker’s presentation and teaching style are very natural, and her comments on the performances are direct and helpful with a good balance of emphasis on technical and musical aspects. She obviously has a very clear concept of the nature and difficulties of each work and can convey her ideas succinctly and in a way that is easily understood by the student performer.

If you are eager to see these master classes now and can’t wait for the mail to bring the disks, you can purchase and download them from her website directly to your computer (this is a very slow process, however). These video lessons will be a godsend to students in rural areas and others without access to a specialist flute teacher. If your favorite work is not yet available in this series, she encourages you to write her to tell her what is on your wish list for future releases. (J.E.P.)

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