Sharon Bezaly & Vladimir Ashkenazy – Franck, Fauré, Prokofiev: Flute Sonatas (2017)
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 75:06 minutes | F/B Covers+PDF Booklet | 3,41 GB
or DSD64 2.0 Stereo (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | F/B Covers + PDF Booklet | 2,96 GB
or FLAC Stereo (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/96kHz | F/B Covers + PDF Booklet | 1,40 GB
Features Stereo and Multichannel Surround Sound | Label: BIS Records AB # BIS-2259
The flautist Sharon Bezaly has released many discs on BIS, recordings which have contributed to the international recognition that she enjoys. On this disc, however, she turns to core repertoire, although not necessarily that of her own instrument. The two sonatas by César Franck and Gabriel Fauré were composed with the violin in mind, and even though Prokofiev’s sonata was originally intended for the flute it is often heard in the composer’s own version for violin and piano. But joined by the legendary pianist and conductor Vladimir Askenazy, Sharon Bezaly now claims the three works for her own instrument, in eloquent performances that make the best possible case for the flute.
Instrumental soloists have long coveted sonatas and concertos for other instruments. Flautist Sharon Bezaly’s new disc contains three sonatas, two of which have been purloined from the violin repertoire. César Franck’s Violin Sonata was transcribed by the great French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal, while Bezaly herself is responsible for the arrangement of Gabriel Fauré’s A major Sonata. The third sonata on the disc – by Prokofiev – was originally for flute but is now arguably better known in the composer’s own violin incarnation, prepared with the help of David Oistrakh.
Bezaly’s playing is attractive, strong in alt, with quicksilver precision and a fabulous trill to close the second movement of the Franck Sonata. Her dusky tone and pastel colours suit the beautiful Allegretto poco mosso finale, although some of the movement’s bittersweet quality is lost on the flute. I prefer her recording to James Galway’s, though, who forces his tone and applies ungainly vibrato. In the Fauré, the inner movements work best, with the flowing 9/8 Andante most persuasive while the cheeky avian quality of the flute brings off the Allegro vivo movement delightfully, with tongued pizzicato and key-slap effects. The Prokofiev sonata – unsurprisingly – comes off best. Bezaly displays precise staccato and nails top notes, her upwards chromatic runs in the boisterous Scherzo joyously vaulted. Her tone isn’t as lustrous as Emmanuel Pahud’s but she captures the sincerity of the Andante just as well. The high-spirited finale is suitably exuberant.
01. César Franck – Sonata in A major: I. Allegretto ben moderato
02. César Franck – Sonata in A major: II. Allegro
03. César Franck – Sonata in A major: III. Ben moderato: Recitativo-Fantasia
04. César Franck – Sonata in A major: IV. Allegretto poco mosso
05. Gabriel Fauré – Sonata No.1 in A major: I. Allegro molto
06. Gabriel Fauré – Sonata No.1 in A major: II. Andante
07. Gabriel Fauré – Sonata No.1 in A major: III. Allegro vivo
08. Gabriel Fauré – Sonata No.1 in A major: IV. Allegro quasi presto
09. Sergei Prokofiev – Sonata in D major: I. Moderato
10. Sergei Prokofiev – Sonata in D major: II. Scherzo. Presto
11. Sergei Prokofiev – Sonata in D major: III. Andante
12. Sergei Prokofiev – Sonata in D major: IV. Allegro con brio
Sharon Bezaly – flute
Vladimir Ashkenazy – piano
Produced, Engineered, Edited & Mastered by Ingo Petry.
Recorded in March 2016 (Prokofiev) and November 2016 (Fauré, Franck) at Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, England.