Révélations: Music For Flute & Piano
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Format: COMPACT DISC
Pronina, Alina; Wierer, Anna
Over a century of captivating French music for the flute, from Mélanie Bonis (1858-1937) to Élise Bertrand (b.2000), including a premiere on disc. From the shepherds-pipe dances of Lully to the pan-flute of Debussy’s faun and beyond, French music has always had a special affinity with the flute. Anna Wierer explores some lesser-known byways of this rich repertoire with her new album, which promises ‘Révélations’ galore. She begins with Lili Boulanger’s evocation of a spring morning, as full of new life as a field of young lambs. Among her contemporaries was Pierre Camus, a student of Fauré: his Chanson et Badinerie presents a pair of contrasting miniatures characteristic of late French Romanticism; the first melancholic and songful, the second lively and of sweeping lightness. The most extended work here is the four-movement Sonata by Mélanie Bonis, known in her time as the androgynous Mel so that her music would not be judged as inferior to a man’s: and indeed the sumptuous modal-oriental harmonies and idiomatic writing for both instruments place it in the front rank of French flute sonatas. A century on, Bonis’s music has belatedly won a place in the modern repertoire – by contrast, Élise Bertrand is at the beginning of a promising career. She composed her Impressions Liturgiques Op.2 at the age of 15, inspired by Maurice Duruflé's Requiem. Dating from 1946, Pierre Sancan’s Sonatine floats in on the breeze as a piece of postwar escapism, as light and sensuous as the creation of a master patissier. Finally, Anna Wierer and Alina Pronina turn to the more complex world of André Jolivet, whose Chant de Linos (1944) shares a theme of antiquity with Debussy’s Prelude but explores a darker, more troubled landscape over the course of its ten eventful minutes. This is the second Brilliant Classics album from the well-established duo of Anna Wierer and Alina Pronina, following on the success of their debut release in 2021, of flute music by the Ukrainian composer Dmitri Tchesnokov. Anna Wierer is the director of the BellClassic Music Academy and the Klangfabrik Music School in Berlin; Kyiv-born Alina Pronina likewise has settled in Berlin, but the duo has given concerts together across Germany and farther afield.