Giovani Battista Fontana
1-3 Sonata seconda
(early seventeenth century)
4. Sonata prima
5. Structure de la Rose op. 20
6-12 Suite II
13. Kaze no Kyoko
(Music of the Winds II)
14. Sonata seconda
15-27 Greensleeves to a Ground (Theme and Variations)
28. Just Five
Giovanni Paolo Cima
29-31 Sonata in D minor
Il Flauto Dolce
Labor Records releases IL FLAUTO DOLCE, an album featuring recorder virtuosa Benedikta Bonitz
The ”sweet flute” (flauto dolce) of the middle ages, Renaissance and baroque made a huge comeback in the 20th century, gaining momentum since the 1930s. Benedikta Bonitz, an artist noted for her powers of expression and tone quality on this ancient instrument, plays a program that includes some of the earliest known instrumental music, mostly from Italy in the early sixteenth century. She also performs an early dance suite from France, English variations on Greensleeves and contemporary music by the German composer Walter Steffens, the Japanese Somei Satoh and the German-American Heiner Stadler.
Ms. Bonitz performs solo and also accompanied by cello and harpsichord (Irene Güdel and Yoma Appenheimer, respectively). The recording was made in the thousand year old church in Heiden, a medieval village in Westphalia, Germany.
“…crystal-clear, pearl-like tones…”
“…consistently astounding interpretation…”
- Featuring a dazzling performer, deeply expressive and with a uniquely mellifluous style
- Juxtaposing baroque music from Italy, France, England, with modern works from Japan, Germany, and New York
- A new set of variations on Greensleeves from seventeenth century England
Though clearly reflecting Japanese roots, composer Somei Satoh’s aesthetic, as exemplified by “Kaze no Kyoko” on recorder specialist Bonitz’s disk, contains a decidedly strong 20th century hue. One is struck by the intentional and coincidental multiplicity of sources which convincingly coalesce in his work. That the whispering bent tones and understated lyrical inflections called for in Satoh’s score are overtly linked to sounds indicated by Walter Steffens’ lovely graphic design for “Structure De La Rose op. 20” also speaks to the finely wrought sensibilities drawn from the global wellspring of creativity. A similar timbral vocabulary can be found in Heiner Stadler’s “Just Five” though, as befits a modern composer with impressive jazz credentials, a darting, syncopated, rhythmic sense pervades the piece. As these contemporary a cappella works are sprinkled throughout this exquisitely realized program dominated by 17th century compositions (featuring harpsichord and cello as well), the effect is two-fold – an educational tool for those landlocked in the past (a spoonful of sugar to aid the ingestion of medicine), and a healthy reminder as to art’s ongoing evolution. After all, to survive, the tradition must be constantly extended. –Milo Fine, Votive
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