VIVALDI Concertos for Flute and Orchestra – Pahud
Among the first flute concertos ever written, Vivaldi’s Op 10 are also among the most imaginative. With vivid descriptive writing and everywhere unmistakably Vivaldian vitality and sparkle, they are surely a must for all flautists Baroque and modern. Taking time off from the Berlin Philharmonic, ‘modern’ Emmanuel Pahud establishes a mastery of them that blasts out of the water any concerns about what kind of instrument he is using. His tone is light and liquid, his technical command complete and, more importantly, he is utterly at one with the music’s character. Where some ‘modern’ players who dip into Baroque music work too hard, overburdening the music with stiff interpretative detail and resolutely showing off the embellishments they have learned, Pahud’s performances are natural and convincing, yet at the same time subtly stylish in matters of ornamentation, articulation and rhythm; the lilting first and second movements of No 5 are superbly poetic matchings of Baroque sensibility and technical control.
Not that he neglects the pictorial; he adds joyous extra bird-trills to Il gardellino, and enters deep into the spectral world of La notte, emerging from the impressionistic ‘sleep’ movement into a finale in which we can almost feel the last phantoms of the night flying past our heads. In this he is keenly partnered by his excellent accompanists, and indeed the taut but far from unyielding contribution of the Australian Chamber Orchestra is of the highest order throughout. A disc to give nothing but pleasure.