Pan – The Flute Magazine

Kenneth Smith has been first flute in the Philharmonia for nearly a quarter of a century, during which time he has been responsible for some of the best orchestral flute playing imaginable. Occasionally (too occasionally) he makes a solo recording. This one, of some familiar and less familiar French music, contains some playing so ravishing that I need to find my thesaurus to find some fresh superlatives. The sound Kenneth Smith produces is simply beautiful. This is not just another recording of the Poulenc Sonata, but rather one of a freshness that made me listen to the work in a way I have not done for years. Reynaldo Hahn’s Two Pieces and Joseph-Guy Ropartz’s Sonatine are works that are rarely played. I cannot imagine why, as they are delightful music. Kenneth Smith plays the Dutilleux Sonatine with the greatest virtuosity. The Franck Sonata is given a terrific performance. Paul Rhodes is the excellent pianist, supportive yet equal.

—Robert Bigio