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Label:
  BIS - http://www.bis.se/
Serial:
  BIS-SACD-153901
Title:
  Mozart: Flute Concertos - Bezaly
Description:
  Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major K.313, Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major K.314, Rondo in D major K.Anh. 184, Andante in C major K.315

Sharon Bezaly (flute)
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Juha Kangas (conductor)
Track listing:
 
Genre:
  Classical - Orchestral
Content:
  Stereo/Multichannel
Media:
  Hybrid
Recording type:
  PCM
Recording info:
 

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Reviews: 5 show all
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Site review by Polly Nomial December 29, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:  
A wonderful disc. Miss Bezaly is a fantastic flautist with musicality to match. As other site reviewers have noted, not all these pieces were written for flute (and one wasn't even arranged by Mozart) but one would never realise given the response of Bezaly and her accompanist.

The allegro's are played in a very spirited manner (without a trace of anything but selfless virtuosity) and the andante's sing beautifully from Bezaly's flute. The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra under Juha Kungas are vivid in their response. The one area of potential controversy will be the cadenza's employed by Bezaly: Kalevi Aho wrote these "interludes" which feed on Mozart's material but some aspects are decidedly not Mozartian - the range & harmonic language mainly. I enjoy these tremendously refreshing ideas but fully appreciate that not everyone will - they take a certain amount of adjustment compared to the more conventional cadenzas usually favoured.

The recording is well up to the house standard and is tremendously well balanced.

Enjoyable.

(Purchased)

Copyright © 2006 John Broggio and SA-CD.net

Site review by Castor November 27, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:  
The young Israeli flautist Sharon Bezaly has received glowing critical acclaim for her performances and recordings of much of the flute repertoire. She is currently recording an A – Z of flute works for BIS and is already up to Volume 3!
Bezaly has recorded concertos by a number of contemporary composers including those by Kalevi Aho whose contribution to the disc under consideration is noteworthy, as he has written cadenzas for all the pieces recorded here.
This SACD contains all the works of Mozart for flute and orchestra, but only the first concerto in G major KV313 and the Andante in C major KV 315 were written by Mozart specifically for that combination.
The second concerto KV314 is a transcription, by Mozart, of his sole oboe concerto, while the Rondo in D, KV184Anh that completes this disc, is usually heard in its original version for violin and orchestra as KV373. The adaptation recorded here was not made by Mozart but by an unknown hand.
One of my personal favourite recordings of these concertos is that made by Aurele Nicolet and the Concertgebouw Orchestra under David Zinman for Philips. I have always admired the wonderful line and seamless phrasing he achieves, and it is interesting to note that Bezaly learned from him “ circular breathing”, a technique of inhaling whilst continuing to produce sound, that was perfected by Nicolet.
Bezaly shows her outstanding virtuosity in all of the pieces recorded here; wonderfully smooth phrasing in the slow movements and an agile silvery tone in the allegros.
The accompaniments by the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra are crisp and alert; played on modern instruments, but with a period style, and the balance between the soloist and orchestra is perfect.
The Aho cadenzas could be a problem for some listeners. Personally, I found them to be totally within the spirit of Mozart, yet with an inventiveness that made the usual cadenzas seem dull by comparison. They are nice and short but manage to exploit the range of the instrument to the full.
The BIS recording is up to their usual high standard and the surround channels enhance the clear acoustic of the Kaustinen Church, Finland.
This disc is offered at budget price and gets my highest recommendation.

Copyright © 2005 Graham Williams and SA-CD.net

Site review by ramesh October 11, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:  
Comparative review of flute concertos with Telarc SACD 60624.
The Bis disc is on special promotion.

The flautist Sharon Bezaly, of Israeli origin was new to me, but according to the booklet, has already achieved a sizable discography on Bis. She plays a modern, 24 carat gold flute; and the orchestra is a chamber one with modern instruments. The Telarc SACD has Jacques Zoon, an ex-prinicipal of the Boston Symphony. The Telarc disc is an all period instruments version, coupled rather unusually, but very generously, to the 'Jupiter' symphony. The Telarc was recorded in DSD; there is no information on the Bis. The Bis disc has two shorter single movements which complete Mozart's corpus of works for flute and orchestra. Zoon's cadenzas are his own, in general period style. Bezaly uses provocative and intriguing flourishes by Kalevi Aho, which commence as parodies of nineteenth century passagework, but spin into various modernist currents. They sound better than I can describe them. Some listeners may recall the rebarbatively modern cadenzas Schnabel composed for his recordings of the Mozart concertos. These are nothing like as jarring, since Aho gracefully eases the listener into progressively more contemporary arabesques, and very distinctive and appealing they are.

I compared Bezaly's recording to modern instrument versions, by Rampal in the 1960's on Erato, and Galway's 1995 RCA recording with Marriner and the ASMF. Bezaly is an incredible artist, who deserves to be compared to these two masters. RCA, conferring star status to Galway, seem to have had a penchant of recording him rather closely, as they also did to Rubinstein and Heifetz. This made him seem to have a jumbo sized flute, which picked up a lot of breathing sounds. By contrast, Bezaly and her orchestra are recorded slightly more distantly, the flute integrated into a better perspective with her colleagues. Her tone is beautifully pure, not least due to the wonderfully clear high frequencies of the recording, and it is a joy to hear such extension of the higher harmonics. At the time I bought Galway's CD, I thought it was of near demonstration quality, but playing both this and the earlier Rampal CD, back-to-back with the Bezaly SACD shows the outstanding high frequency extension of the latter. The Telarc SACD lies in between the Bis SACD and the CDs for this, but this isn't due to any technical limitations of the recording: the replica wooden flute he uses doesn't have the plush higher harmonics of the modern bespoke instrument; the Telarc DSD recording has a smidgen greater sonic ease than the BIS.

Galway arguably has a plummier and fuller lower register, but this may be partially due to his closer recording, as the lower frequencies may not carry as well as the higher ones. However, Bezaly's playing is incredibly agile, with minimal breathing sounds compared to Galway. One can barely hear where she breathes. To characterise her, I would say she's like a Kiri Te Kanawa of the flute, for the sound generated sounds more vocal than instrumental. Her quick runs are like limpid pearls, the tone liquid, without any notes out of place in terms of volume or intonation. There's really nothing much more to say, except this extends for the entire disc, and the general impression is of flair, even charisma, but without superficiality.

The speeds of Bezaly and Zoon are broadly similar, quick in the period instruments manner. Both Galway and Rampal are slower and more gracious ( some would say more regal ) in the slow movements. These are marked as 'Adagio ma non troppo'. Incidentally, the marking in the Telarc disc of K 314 as 'andante' would appear to be a typo. Bezaly is about a minute-and-a-half brisker at 8:33 in the adagio of K 313, a big difference. My preference musically for Rampal over Bezaly implies no conclusive artistic superiority of the Frenchman, these two and Galway make equally convincing cases for their performances, though Rampal's more gracious tempi allow for more eloquent, less streamlined phrasing. There is no doubt that Bezaly is the more exciting of the trio, abetted by her innovatory cadenzas; Rampal preferring older style rococo elegance, if I may put it this way. The Swedish orchestra sounds slightly smaller than Marriner's Academy, the style of phrasing in the former's tuttis having more similarities to the Telarc period instruments, than to their modern instrument counterparts.

It is invidious to prefer either the Telarc or Bis SACDs, as they are not strictly comparable. The Bis is less than half the Telarc's price, but for the latter you get an alert, excellent, though not magisterial performance of the 'Jupiter'. If you want a demonstration disc of woodwind high frequencies, but more importantly, of great music, you would have to search long and hard to better the Bis. Why not get both?

Copyright © 2005 Ramesh Nair and SA-CD.net

 
Works: 4  

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Andante in C major for Flute and Orchestra, K. 315/285e
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major, K. 313/285c
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, K. 314/285d
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Rondo in D major, K. Anh. 184