Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev: Friends in Common Time
Flautist Rebecca Jeffreys and pianist Alexander Timofeev may not always be ‘Friends in Common Time’ on their new disc, given the various time signatures the eight represented composers employ. But the performances couldn’t be more amiable and intimate, and the musicians appear to savour the opportunity to introduce unknown repertoire that should appeal to listeners beyond the flute-piano world.
One of the composers is the Moldovan-born Timofeev himself. His Reminiscenza wears nostalgia lightly on its sleeve as the instruments engage in lyrical and jaunty conversation. Like that piece, several others say what they have to say in concise terms. Norwegian composer Tor Brevik’s Pastorale is a tender ballade and German composer Peter Kütt’s Sonatina a three-movement score juxtaposing poetic and soaring ideas.
The flute has a chance to take off during the cadenza in Adrienne Albert’s Fantasia, which also finds the instruments sharing winsome melodic material. Slovakian composer Peter Machajdík weaves haunting chords, figures, and textures in Senahh, though the disc’s absence of booklet notes precludes any insight into the title.
Subtle sonorities abound in Kevin W Walker’s Winter in the Woods for alto flute and prepared piano, which places the instruments in serene balance. The disc’s only potentially familiar composer is André Caplet (1878-1925), whose Rêverie et Petite valse comprises two charming movements that Jeffreys and Timofeev play with fine sophistication, as is true of everything they touch on this genial and distinctly uncommon recording.