Habñera

Author: 
John Duarte

Habñera

  • Entr'acte
  • Pièce en forme de habanera
  • (La) Romanesca
  • (12) Danzas españolas, Andaluza (Playera)
  • Sonata
  • Serenata al Alba del Dia
  • Distribuição de flores
  • Bachianas brasileiras No. 5
  • Flute Flight
  • (3) Esquisses
  • Histoire du Tango, Bordel 1900
  • Histoire du Tango, Nightclub 1960
  • (El) Pano Maruno
  • Boleras Sevillanos
  • Entr'acte
  • Pièce en forme de habanera
  • (La) Romanesca
  • (12) Danzas españolas, Andaluza (Playera)
  • Sonata
  • Serenata al Alba del Dia
  • Distribuição de flores
  • Bachianas brasileiras No. 5
  • Flute Flight
  • (3) Esquisses
  • Histoire du Tango, Bordel 1900
  • Histoire du Tango, Nightclub 1960
  • (El) Pano Maruno
  • Boleras Sevillanos

This is by no means the first recording of Ibert's Entr'acte by a flute/guitar duo but it is the first to enter the GramophoneCD Catalogue, and the same applies to Castelnuovo-Tedesco's lengthy Sonatina—but not to Villa-Lobos's Distribuicao de flores. The kneejerk repetition of these and, elsewhere, other items is, however, usually occasioned by paucity of imagination, rather than of repertory. The pieces by Sor and Rodrigo (their only ones for this combination, and with no other listed recording) modestly make the point, as do the two movements from Piazzolla's L'Histoire du Tango—which may one day become another staple of the repertory but of which, conciseness not being Piazzolla's strong suit, two out of the four movements are enough. Piazzolla has shown that the tango is a flexible medium, but not infinitely so. Benoit Schlosberg is a guitarist, which ensures that the instrument plays more than a minor role in his three entertaining sketches. The arranged items by Ravel and Granados are, too, well chosen in that they work well.
If the settings of Hispanic folk songs (originally for two guitars) by Len Williams, father of the more famous John, sound (and are) simple, I well remember the late-night sessions in the 1950s in which they were tried out and polished, though I no longer recollect where he found the tunes. Following in the footsteps of Gounod, Timothy Walker has added a melodic line to someone else's piece in arpeggios, in this case the Study No. I of Villa-Lobos; if V-L had thought of doing it, I'm sure he wouid have written something very much like this—or would have been pretty pleased with what Walker has done. Judith Hall, no shrinking violet, is a first-class, full-sounding flautist, and Walker matches her every step in this well-drilled (which does not infer inflexibility) and spirited duo. Imbalance, dully careful performances, and thrombosis of the repertoire often cast their shadows over flute/guitar duos, but not over this one.'

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