Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Khachaturian, Ibert - Flute Concertos - Pahud, Zinman

Khachaturian, Ibert - Flute Concertos - Pahud, Zinman
Concerto | single, flac, cue | no log, cover | 1 CD, 259 MB
September 2, 2003 | EMI | RapidShare

I had the good fortune to see Emmanuel Pahud play Ibert's delightful Flute Concerto live, and believe me everything you hear on this disc is true. There's no need for the engineers to spotlight the solo flute. This guy's tone is simply huge. He can hold his own against just about anything the orchestra throws at him (check out the finale), and this performance of Ibert's witty neo-classical essay is simply the last word in virtuosity and timbral richness combined with truly French finesse. The outer movements bustle along with insouciant verve, while the central Andante is nicely "sec"--touching without ever becoming sentimental. Through it all Pahud's fat, liquid tone dances among the instruments, reveling in being the life of the party. Ibert's Pièce for Solo Flute makes for a delicious appetizer preceding the concerto.

The first item on this disc, though, is a horse of a very different color: Khachaturian's Flute Concerto, better known as his Violin Concerto, here in Rampal's popular transcription. While I ordinarily detest this sort of thing outside of Baroque music, the fact is that the piece sounds perfectly fine on the flute, being constructed simply as a series of alternating statements between the boisterous full orchestra and the simply accompanied soloist. In short, there isn't much (musically speaking) that the violin has to do that doesn't sound equally fine on the flute, especially when played as here without a trace of breathiness or hollow timbre. David Zinman's accompaniments fit Pahud like a hand in a glove, and the sound is extremely vivid and well balanced. The opening of the Khachaturian finale will blow you through the back wall of your listening room. An extraordinary disc, by any measure. --David Hurwitz

Flute Concerto

Flute Concerto;
Pièce for Solo Flute

Emmanuel Pahud (flute)

Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra

David Zinman

EMI- 5 57563 2(CD)
Reference Recording - Both Works: This One

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