Etereo – new music for flute
Navona Records nv6265 (navonarecords.com)
From the outset, in Josh Oxford’s for solo flute, Lindsey Goodman demonstrates she is a flutist who has it all. With a palette of luscious tone colours and engaging phrasing, she easily negotiates the many different flocalizations, bluesy thirds, glissandi, flutter tonguings and tongued pizzicato, all the while maintaining a compelling, rock-solid beat. This track alone is worth the investment.
Yet what follows is of equal merit. The next four tracks are also for solo flute. Bruce Babcock’s is moody with flashes of technical display. Steven Block’s offers moments of two-part writing with harmonic overtones defining an ostinato and regular tones, a brief melody. While Goodman’s performance engages us in both Taurins’ Gand for alto flute, the obvious quotations from Varèse’s are neither mentioned nor explained in the scanty online program notes.
Using fixed media with effective employment of stereo panning, Mara Helmuth’s programmatic reveals spurts of flitting about and flapping wings. The most hauntingly lyrical work is Alla Elana Cohen’s four-movement , ably accompanied by pianist Robert Frankenberry. The penultimate track, by Peter Castine, opens serenely, becoming increasingly more agitated as first the cello dialogues in counterpoint with the alto flute, and later as the crotales and toy piano enter. Jennifer Jolley’s , a rhythmic tour-de-force spectacularly played by the flute/cello/piano Leviathan Trio, closes one very impressive, boundary-pushing collection of new music for flute.