Yes, a clever title for a most interesting programme of music, mostly for flute and piano but with two compositions for solo flute, impeccably performed by Camerata co-founder Suzanne Shulman and pianist, Valerie Tryon. From the opening Allegro vivace from Haydn’s The Musical Clock (the first of five) you can hear the great chemistry between the two, and it gets even better; by the fifth Tryon has proven that you can double tongue on the piano as she matches Shulman’s double-tonguing wizardry! The Sonata in B-flat Major K378 by Mozart is next. Originally composed for violin, it gives the performers something a little more substantial to work with. The Andantino second movement gives us an opportunity to hear Shulman’s dark low register. (Thank you, Suzanne Shulman, for playing this in the original key, not the transcribed for flute version!)
Next up is an intoxicating dose of wistful fin-de-siècle melancholy, a sonata by the very accomplished but little known French composer, Mélanie Bonis, followed by Francis Poulenc’s wonderful – can I say iconic? – Sonata, in which Shulman was tutored by Jean-Pierre Rampal, for whom it was written. Need I say more!
The two last pieces are Harry Somers’ Etching – The Vollard Suite and Milton Barnes’ Music for Solo Flute, to both of which Shulman brings such artistry that I am convinced that these two pieces by Canadian composers are truly timeless masterpieces.