Flûte a la Française
This delectable disc presents one enchanting facet of the Gallic sensibility after another. And, as Timothy and Janet Creaser Hutchins (a husband- and-wife, Canadian-based team) declare, all these works derive from a “fertile milieu”, a classic French devotion to the flute and its possibilities. A celebration of the lighter virtues, there is none the less a sense of richness and variety and, to adopt some wise words of Marguerite Long, if the pieces here are “lucid, precise and slender, concentrating on grace rather than force and guarding primarily their equilibrium and sense of perspective, they do not sacrifice their power or profundity of inner emotion”. Faure’s
Excellent arrangements of Ravel and Debussy (the former by Louis Fleury, the latter by Timothy Hutchins himself) are followed by Dutilleux’s typically elegant Sonatine. In Gaubert’s First Sonata, both flautist and pianist realize to perfection the composer’s wish for a sonority calme et penetrante and, later, for considerable heights of declamation and a coda where the music soars into a cloudless empyrian. Finally, Francois Borne’s Carmen Fantasia provides a virtuoso photo finish.
The recordings by one of Decca’s most experienced teams were made in Montreal and are of exemplary quality, while the accompanying booklet includes outstanding photographs of six of the nine composers represented.'