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Collection of My Favorites
     

A Collection of My Favorites

by Jeanne Baxtresser
 
MSR Classics' Jeanne Baxtresser: A Collection of My Favorites is like a gift from the heavens to flute players. Very few among their number get to record a full program on CD, and even Baxtresser hasn't gained anywhere near the attention on disc that her illustrious colleagues James Galway and the late

Overview

MSR Classics' Jeanne Baxtresser: A Collection of My Favorites is like a gift from the heavens to flute players. Very few among their number get to record a full program on CD, and even Baxtresser hasn't gained anywhere near the attention on disc that her illustrious colleagues James Galway and the late Jean-Pierre Rampal have gained. Nevertheless, Baxtresser has long been established as one of the very best in her field, as principal flute in the New York Philharmonic and as a teacher at the New England Conservatory of Music, Carnegie-Mellon, Juilliard, and other top music schools. Although this looks like a new recording, it is a compilation of past efforts, nonetheless all digitally recorded, drawn from the catalogs of defunct labels such as Pro Arte and IMP. It is not so much the worse for that, as Baxtresser's tone on the flute never wears out one's ears; it is pure yet warm and dark, never shrill or excessively wobbly. The first seven tracks encompass the whole of Baxtresser's 1987 Pro Arte release The Magic Flute with conductor Andrew Davis providing piano accompaniment. This is a worthy choice for reissue, as it was only briefly available initially, released at a time when the public hadn't fully embraced compact discs. The third-movement Allegro di molto from C.P.E. Bach's "Flute Concerto in D minor, Wq. 22," is taken from an earlier Pro Arte release, The Baroque Flute; unfortunately, this tape has held up less well and is plagued with bad splices, though the performance is certainly engrossing and exciting. The version of Gershwin's "Someone to Watch over Me" is a little bewildering -- it's a duet between Baxtresser and her predecessor in the New York Philharmonic, legendary flutist Julius Baker. It is followed by a similar solo realization of Gershwin's "Promenade," both tracks made with a "group" called the Toronto Ragtime Ensemble. This "ensemble" sounds suspiciously like a midi program and overall these two pieces sound like music you'd hear in the mall; they stick out from the rest of the program like the sorest of sore thumbs. However, you should stick it out to hear Henry Cowell's charming "Two Bits" heard at the end of the disc, featuring Baxtresser accompanied by her mother, virtuoso pianist Margaret Baxtresser. The Cowell work was recorded live in 1994 and is unique to this collection. Although it may not be the "perfect" career survey, Jeanne Baxtresser: A Collection of My Favorites will certainly do, selected and produced as it is by Baxtresser herself. It puts in a good word, if not the last word, on a flutist who doesn't need to play "Wind beneath My Wings" to attract a crowd -- a true master of one of the world's most difficult instruments.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/24/2006
Label:
Msr Classics
UPC:
0681585111420
catalogNumber:
1114

Tracks

  1. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun), for orchestra, L. 86
  2. Hungarian Peasant Songs (15) for piano, Sz. 71, BB 79
  3. Nocturne for piano No. 20 in C sharp minor, KK IVa/16, CT. 127 (B. 49)
  4. Grand trio for 2 flutes & piano in G, Op 119: Movement 3
  5. Daisies, song for voice & piano, Op. 38/3
  6. Canzone (Elegy), for flute and piano (arr. from 2nd mvt. of the Piano Concerto), Op. 38a
  7. Concerto for flute, strings & continuo in D minor, H. 426, Wq. 22: 3. Allegro di molto
  8. Someone to Watch Over Me, song (from Oh, Kay!, musical)
  9. Promenade, for piano or orchestra (arrangement of "Walking the Dog" from Shall we Dance, film)
  10. Suite for flute & jazz piano trio No.1: Baroque and Blue
  11. Suite for flute & jazz piano trio No.1: Sentimentale
  12. Suite for flute & jazz piano trio No.1: Veloce
  13. Two-Bits (2), for flute & piano, HC 611

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