Delos Instrument Series
Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
This Congreve quote turns up in the flute album “Incantation” featuring Eugenia Zukerman. No instrument realizes this quote more fully than the flute. There is a wonder and enchantment associated with the flute; it is after all the “Magic Flute.”
Our most recent flute release is Joshua Smith’s J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas with Continuo (Vol. 2) album. Joshua Smith has released two Bach Flute Sonatas albums on Delos – J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas (Vol. 1) & J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas with Continuo (Vol. 2).
Bach himself was fascinated with the flute. As James A. Winn mentions in the liner notes of J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas with Continuo, “Once [Bach] had heard the transverse flute played by a French virtuoso, an event that probably occurred in 1717, Bach never lost interest in the instrument, which he used effectively in church cantatas, passions, concerti, and chamber music.”
In the liner notes of J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas, Joshua Smith wrote about Bach’s flute sonatas, and why he chose them:
“When I became serious about playing the flute, the sonatas of J.S. Bach were the first “real” music I approached. In the 25 years since, prevailing opinions on how to interpret this music have changed dramatically. From a stalwart regimen, with every note in time and in tune, through the insistence that baroque music could convincingly be performed only on period instruments, to the more relaxed understanding that historical reproduction is impossible, questions about how to interpret this increasingly distant style of music seem to multiply with time…
“…Bach composed his flute sonatas in the early eighteenth century, likely while he was in his thirties. I spent a large part of my own thirties thinking about and experimenting with appropriate and convincing ways to interpret these pieces. Although I don’t perform them on a period instrument, my respect for the music compels me to seek the most authentic historical perspective I can find. Picking up a baroque flute is a good way to begin, but I find the challenge of projecting historical style on my own instrument at least as rewarding. Style after all, originates in creative thinking, not in the tools used to translate thoughts in actions.”
Joshua Smith, flute
Jory Vinikour, harpsichord
This album is dedicated to the memory of Delos founder Amelia S. Haygood, who especially loved Bach, and would have celebrated these fresh and invigorating performances.
— Carol Rosenberger
Joshua Smith is aptly known for his “gorgeous sound, bracing virtuosity, and breathtaking lyricism.” His collaborator Jory Vinikour — whose new Delos set of Handel suites has already received raves from Gramophone and others — remarks on Joshua’s “innate musical sensitivity and his absolutely unparalleled range of dynamics and articulation.”
Joshua Smith, flute
Jory Vinikour, harpsichord
Ann Marie Morgan, baroque cello
Allison Guest Edberg, baroque violin
“Flute phenomenon” Joshua Smith’s first disc of Bach Flute Sonatas with harpsichordist Jory Vinikour was hailed as “virtuosic and lyrical” by Audiophilia and “superb” by The New Yorker (DE 3402). “A fabulous recording. Run, don’t walk, to get a copy,” wrote Pan, The Flute Magazine.
Josh and Jory’s second Bach program is as inspiring as their first. Here, they are joined by Ann Marie Morgan and Allison Edberg in illuminating and wholly engaging performances. As James A.Winn writes in the informative booklet notes:
“Sensitive performances like those offered here by Joshua Smith and his colleagues should help listeners, flutists, and scholars become more aware of the many styles in which Bach made himself at home. Because later composers for the flute have so often taken their inspiration from the eighteenth-century master, the range and variety of the flute literature as a whole owes a great debt to the range and variety of Johann Sebastian Bach.”
Principal Flute of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1990, Joshua Smith enjoys a multi-faceted career as a leading soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, and clinician.
Another prolific Delos flautist, Raffaele Trevisani, has released albums that not only encompass one of “the Bachs” (C. P. E. Bach), but also reach into the modern era with his most recent release “New Century Flute Concertos.” Another recent release from Trevisani is his Italian “Flute Concertos” album. It is in this album that Trevisani brings out the early history of the flute in classical music beyond Bach. As Stefano Valentino Cannetta tells us in the album’s liner notes, Italian Baroque music was extremely important in the development of the flute and instrumental music in general:
“Although opera and the composition of opera dominated Italian music during the 17th and 18th centuries, instrumental music also began to gain more and more importance.
“Musical instruments and their characteristic sounds, timbres and colors attracted composers of the time, who soon gave them the same kind of attention they had previously lavished on the vocal gymnastics of their favorite prime donne.”
Raffaele Trevisani’s newest release, “New Century Flute Concertos,” celebrates the music of the 21st Century in a delightful program featuring concertos for flute and piccolo. The concertos were written especially for Trevisani and/or dedicated to him. With conductors from America, Brazil and South Africa, and music by Italian, Brazilian and South African composers, this album can also be considered “Raffi, friends, and flute music from around the world.”
Raffaele Trevisani, flute and piccolo
Piet Koornhof, violin
Roberto Duarte, conductor
Constantine Orbelian, conductor
Moscow Chamber Orchestra
Hendrik Hofmeyr: Double Concerto for Flute, Violin and Strings; Alberto Colla: Quasi una Romanza, Concerto for Flute and Strings; Carlo Galante: I Sospiri di Ariel, Concerto for Flute and Strings; Ernani Aguiar: Concertino for Piccolo and Strings
ALBINONI: Concerto in G Major • PERGOLESI: Concerto in G Major • TARTINI: Concerto in D Major • VIVALDI: Concerto in C Minor • GALUPPI: Concerto in D Major • BOCCHERINI: Concerto in D Major
Raffaele Trevisani, flute • Constantine Orbelian, conductor • Moscow Chamber Orchestra
“I do not hesitate to say that he belongs to the best of the flutists of the day,” Sir James Galway
“Trevisani’s interpretation has, besides the sheen of its sparkling virtuosity, a quality of sound, a fineness of expression, elegance and lightness of phrasing. A musical freshness that makes it truly significant.” —Amadeus
Representing the Delos flute series here is Italian virtuoso Raffaele Trevisani, recognized as one of the outstanding flutists of his generation, who has been praised consistently for his style, musicality and beautiful tone quality.
“Raffi” Trevisani has made a range of recordings for Delos, including C.P.E. Bach Flute Concertos (DE 3312), Mercadante Flute Concertos (DE 3372), Bach Trio Sonatas (DE 3391) and his own arrangements of Mozart Violin Sonatas for Flute and Piano (DE 3367). One of the very few pupils of Sir James Galway, Raffi now owns and plays Galway’s 14-carat gold Muramatsu flute.
Virtuoso flutists with memorable performances on Delos include: