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GLOWING SONORITIES - Various Composers - Noémi Györi (Flute) - Katalin Csillagh (Piano) - 5991813276728 - Released: March 2017 - Hungaroton HCD32767

Franz Schubert: Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano in A minor, D.821
Carl Reinecke: Sonata for Flute and Piano in E minor, Op. 167 "Undine"
César Franck: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major

Hungarian flutist Noémi Györi's first recording (reviewed here) was a delightful collection of light and simple duos for Flute and Guitar by Antonio Maria Nava in which she shared leading duties with the guitarist. This time around she takes on the leading role within these Romantic period chamber works for solo instrument and piano accompaniment. Whilst the Reinecke is written for Flute and Piano, the other two are transcriptions. Now I had some doubts as to the validity of these transcriptions because the differences in sound, timbre, tone and color between a violin and flute can be striking. A violin produces warm, heartfelt, somewhat sad and woody tones. On the other hand a flute projects cold, bright, chirpy and metallic tones more suited to pastoral or bucolic settings in music than romantic ideals. And you also need to take breathing into account. Having heard the Franck Sonata for Violin and Piano many times in its original form I must admit I was somewhat skeptical as to the outcome of this particular arrangement.

Both Noémi Györi and pianist Katalin Csillagh settle into the spirit of the music so well that the choice of instrument becomes instantly irrelevant. Of course the brightness of the flute doesn't mesh as well with the piano as a stringed instrument would, but these two musicians make that work to their benefit by taking advantage of this disparity and creating an outcome that rivals the original version. The impact of the final movement in particular is just as rewarding as both musicians throw themselves into the music's emotional turmoil, and leave a lasting impression. And let me just add that this rendition of the Reinecke Flute Sonata is one of the best I've heard, even when compared against recordings by Pahud, Bezaly or Rampal. Highly recommended for flute and/or chamber music enthusiasts!

Jean-Yves Duperron - May 2017