A disc of English music for flute and piano opens with an evocative performance of Harty’s ‘tone-picture’ Ireland , followed by German’s delightful Intermezzo and Michael Head’s By a River in Spring , in which Kenneth Smith (flute) and Paul Rhodes (piano) successfully paint a lovely picture of the title subject. Smith and Rhodes also bring out the mysterious air in the following Flute Sonata by Alwyn. This is followed by two Havelock Nelson pieces (the jazzy Eirie Cherie and the attractive, light In Venezuela ) and Dunhill’s Valse Fantasia, a weightier piece with lilting dance episodes. Leighton’s Flute Sonata is the most substantial piece on the disc, both in terms of length and its serious, abstruse quality, but it is still pleasant on the ear. Stanford Robinson’s The Moon Maiden’s Dance is suitably atmospheric and striking, and the disc concludes with the best-known work of all, German’s lyrical Suite for flute and piano.
Although these are good performances of charming works, an entire disc of flute music could be rather unrelenting, so unless you are a devotee of the flute, it is better to dip into this release, rather than listen to it from start to finish.