Revolution – Flute Concertos – Emanuel Pahud – Composers: FRANÇOIS DEVIENNE,  LOUIS GIANELLA,  CHRISTOPH W. GLUCK,  IGNACE JOSEPH PLEYEL (TrackList follows) – Basel Chamber Orchestra/ Giovanni Antonini – Warner Classics

Revolution – Flute Concertos – Emanuel Pahud – Composers: FRANÇOIS DEVIENNE,  LOUIS GIANELLA,  CHRISTOPH W. GLUCK,  IGNACE JOSEPH PLEYEL (TrackList follows) – Basel Chamber Orch./ Giovanni Antonini – Warner Classics 2564627678, 73:00 (04/28/15) [Distr. by Naxos] ****:

Widely recognized as one of the finest flautists performing on the world stage today, Emmanuel Pahud has joined forces with the Kammerorchester Basel for this new album of flute concertos by composers dating from the time of the French Revolution, revealing how the form and the instrument underwent its own musical revolution during this chaotic period.

For this disc, Pahud delves once again into the history and evolution of the flute in the second half of the 18th century, following the success of The Flute King, his 2012 album of music written for and by the Prussian king Frederick the Great,  who was himself a gifted flautist-composer.

Happily, this is not a disc of old favorites, but rather a voyage into the music of some of the lesser-known composers of the period, like Francois Devieene, Louis Gianella, Christoph Gluck and Ignace Joseph Pleyel.

The program fits very nicely together, and the playing is first rate. Pahud was born in Geneva, into a non-musical family. As a young boy living in Italy, the sounds of the flute captivated him. From the age of four to the age of 22, he was tutored and mentored by flautists such as François Binet, Carlos Bruneel and Aurèle Nicolet. Classically trained at the Conservatoire de Paris, he leapt into the international orchestral and solo music scene when he joined the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992. He is skilled in many genres, including the baroque, contemporary and classical music, and jazz. There is nothing to complain about in terms of the music. It is played precisely and passionately.

Sadly, this is not a high resolution presentation. Warner Music dabbled in DVD-Audio early on, and has released some SACDs, but not in great numbers. In the pop field, the company has released several high resolution downloads available on line. Hopefully, Warner Music will get more engaged with the classical side of its catalog and hi-res.

Still, this is a fine disc, well-played and well recorded. Pahud’s flute sounds very realistic, and the detail of the other members of the ensemble is never lost.

TrackList:

1. Concerto for Flute No. 7 in e minor by François Devienne – Written: 1787-1788; France
2. Concerto for Flute No. 1 in d minor by Louis Gianella  – Written: Italy
3. Concerto for Flute in G major by Christoph W. Gluck
4. Concerto for Clarinet/Flute/Cello in C major, B 106 by Ignace Joseph Pleyel – Written: 1797 

—Mel Martin

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