What’s different about this attractive flute recital is that Ms. Redgate plays a wooden flute which all but vanished in the U.S. in the 1920’s and which lasted into the 50’s in the U.K. A few artists still play this instrument, and Ms. Redgate’s was purchased used in 1921 by her father, and now she plays it. The York Bowen Sonata has been recorded at least a half dozen times before and the lovely Michael Head piece has a single other recording on ASV, but the rest of the program would seem to be premiere recordings.
The playing is first class. Michael Dussek is familiar from many recordings on a variety of labels, and he partners Celia Redgate beautifully. The Edward German Suite is much like his songs. Redgate’s husband, Christopher, has made a charming set of three folksongs: Barbara Ellen, Green Bushes, and The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, O! Nifty. Michael Head is best known for his songs and his recitals on which he accompanied himself in them. His flute piece is a song without words – very lovely.
Arnold Cooke studied with Hindemith, and his Sonatina shows some mild influence of his teacher, but nothing to be afraid of. It’s a thoroughly English piece. York Bowen’s piece is virtuosic as you’d expect, and of course the piano writing reflects the composer’s ability as a brilliant keyboard artist. The Tavener piece is a bore, and is there I suppose because Redgate before her marriage gave the premiere. The short Griffith is a cute encore piece and so is the Charles Stainer. Redgate gives his dates as 1874-1947, but this is one of Sir John Stainer’s sons, and Dibble in his recent Stainer bio give his birth date as 8 June 1871. The 1947 death date is correct. Recommended highly.