Surman – The American Album

The American Album
Centaur CRC 3525

Patricia Surman, flute
Kostas Chardas, piano

Dr. Patricia Surman, who has recently joined the faculty of Metropolitan State University of Denver, has released a stunning album of American works on Centaur Records.

The composers represented on this album span the entire 20th century into the 21st century. I especially appreciated the inclusion of pieces from the standard repertoire as well as some new gems. The works represented on the album include:

Sonata (Three Lakes) – Daniel Dorff
  I. Lake Wallenpaupack
  II. Kezar Lake
  III. Salmon Lake

Black Anemones – Joseph Schwantner

Three American Pieces for Flute and Piano – Lukas Foss
  I. Early Song
  II. Dedication
  III. Composer’s Holiday

Antiques of a Mechanical Nature – Chapman Welch

Duo for Flute and Piano – Aaron Copland
  I. Flowing
  II. Poetic, somewhat mournful
  III. Lively, with bounce


On the first hearing, Surman’s fantastic tone is immediately evident. It is robust, substantial, and beautiful. She shows the listener a variety of tone colors throughout the various works. Her technique is masterful, and her articulation is crystal clear and communicative. The collaboration between Surman and pianist Kostas Chardas is solid. Overall, this is an outstanding album and highly recommended. 

Möst – Accento Austria

Accento Austria (Gramola 99100)

Elisabeth Möst, flute, Maroje Brčić, guitar


Flutist Elisabeth Möst and guitarist Maroje Brčić have presented a lovely collection of works that span nineteenth- and twentieth-century Austria.

While the majority of the works on this album were written in the twentieth-century, two were written by composers whose lives span the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries.


Five Miniatures – Cesar Bresgen
I. Ruhig
II. Fließend
III. Gehend
IV. Wiegend. Rascher
V. Gehende Viertel

Grand Duo concertant in A major/A-Dur, op. 85 – Mauro Giuliani
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante molto sostenuto
III. Scherzo: Vivace
IV. Allegretto espressivo

Scherzo Capriccioso from/aus “Drei Stücke” – Alfred Uhl

Sonata semplice, op. 18 – Jan Truhlář
I. Allegretto con umore
II. Andante
III. Allegro scherzoso

Serenade in D major/D-Dur, op. 19 – Leonardo von/de Call
I. Adagio. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Menuetto. Trio
IV. Rondo

When the listener also considers the various influences surrounding the composition of these works–which include World War II, a highly vocal bel canto style, and socialist realism to name a few–the result is a variety of styles that can be heard in the assorted works on this recording.

The partnership between Möst and Brčić is particularly well-balanced. Möst’s tone is sonorous, and her phrasing is tasteful and carefully done. Overall, this is an excellent recording of works for flute and guitar that are slightly off the beaten path. 

Clark – SoundTracked

Stephen Clark, flute

Los Angeles Screen Orchestra and Chorus

Album Title: SoundTracked

Album Label:  Voyage Records


Pirates of the Caribbean (He’s A Pirate) – Hans Zimmer

Lord of the Rings (In Dreams) – Howard Shore
The Bourne Identity (Main Theme) – John Powell

Ladies in Lavender (Main Theme) – Nigel Hess

Braveheart (For the Love of a Princess/Freedom) – James Horner

James Bond (Main Theme) – Monty Norman

Out of Africa (Main Theme) – John Barry

Forrest Gump (Feather Theme) – Alan Silvestri

Flying Themes (Return to Neverland from Hook/Fawkes the Phoenix from Harry Potter and the Chamber 
 of Secrets/Flying Theme from E.T./Main Theme from Superman/Main Theme from Star Wars) – 
 John Williams

Gladiator (Now We Are Free) – Hans Zimmer
Stephen Clark’s second solo album, SoundTracked, is a fun collection of arrangements of film music for flute. The selections, which were arranged and orchestrated by Adam Gubman, represent a wide range of movies. Older titles, such as Out of Africa, are included along with newer selections, such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings. There is also a variety of moods represented throughout these selections, which keeps the listener engaged and really makes the recording seem over much too soon.

One of the more interesting arrangements weaves together “flying themes” from a variety of movies: Hook, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, E.T., Superman, and Star Wars. It’s a clever compilation of music sharing a common theme, and the seamless transition from one tune to the next makes it seem natural.

The highlight of the disc, however, is Clark’s exquisite playing. He is a fantastically talented performer, able to carry a beautiful lyrical line and execute highly technical passages in a seemingly-effortless manner. His tone is rich and warm and is always a pleasure to hear.
Overall, this is a fun album for the movie aficionado-flutist. It would also be a great recording for younger flute students, who might be inspired by some music beyond their typical experience with band, method books, and traditional solo flute literature.

Gori – The Electric Flute

The Electric Flute (MGMusic 01)

Michele Gori, flutes, effects, loop station

Beat 70 – P. Metheny
Danse de la Chèvre – A. Honegger
Just Blues – M. Gori
Summertime – G. Gershwin
Pièce – J. Ibert
N⁰24 – M. Gori
Château Rouge – M. Gori
Highway – M. Gori
xniryS – M. Gori


Michele Gori’s The Electric Flute uses various electronic means to create an album full of variety. It is an excellent example of how the loop station offers many possibilities for layering both in the context of a recorded album as well as in real time during a recital performance. Looping also allows the performer the ability to perform live on multiple instruments. In this case, Gori introduces all members of the flute family after establishing the sound of the previous one on a loop. He essentially performs as a small flute ensemble through this technology.

The album’s first track, Beat 70, perfectly exemplifies Gori’s goal of mixing flute with electronics. Gori includes a jazz standard, Summertime, as well as some of his own jazz-inspired original compositions. In particular, Gori’s Just Blues shows how he incorporates piccolo, flute, alto flute, and bass flute performed by one player.

Gori has put a new spin on some of the standards of the flute repertoire, including Honegger’s Danse de la Chèvre and Ibert’s Pièce. He adds an electronic layer to give each of these works a new sound. Finally, he disassembles Debussy’s Syrinx and rebuilds it backwards to celebrate his “admiration of its great originality.” This work is particularly intriguing. It retains the character of the work and is recognizable as such but still sounds like a newly-composed piece.

Overall, this album is very well done. It provides variety in the repertoire choices that will appeal to those that like jazz, classical, or both styles. However, the application of electronic effects acts as a common thread throughout the album and illustrates how versatile the modern flutist can be.

Shim – Pheromone

Aerocade Music, AM001

Meerenai Shim, flute
Jacob Abela, piano

Eli Fieldsteel – Fractus III: Aerophoneme for Flute and Live Electronics
Gregory C. Brown – Huge Blank Canvas Neck Tattoo for Alto Flute & Digital Delay
Emma O’Halloran – Pencilled Wings for Flute, Piano, and Stereo Playback
Douglas Laustsen – 60.8% for Bass Flute and Electronics
Isaac Schankler – Pheromone for Flute(s), Piano, and Electronics
Matthew Joseph Payne – Etude for Contrabass Flute and TI83+ Calculator

Pheromone is Meerenai Shim’s third album and the first released on her new Aerocade Music label, which she founded earlier this year. Her first two albums are fantastic but Shim has outdone herself with this latest release. Pheromone takes her playing to a completely new level. With the exception of the first track, which served as the inspiration for the album, all works were commissioned by Shim. All tracks considered, this electroacoustic album is greater than the sum of its parts.

Fractus III: Aerophoneme incorporates flute with live electronics. The electronics really vary throughout the work; at the beginning we primarily hear flute sounds and the electronics become more aggressively integrated as the track progresses. The composer states that this work explores themes of “self-exploration, transcendence, and divine retribution.”

In the next track, Huge Blank Canvas Neck Tattoo, the performer creates a backing track with loops and Ableton Live. The alto flute lends a different timbre to this work. According to the composer, this is a deeply personal work for him, inspired by “false starts and bad choices.”

Piano is included in the next work, Pencilled Wings, in addition to flute and stereo playback. It’s an intriguing work, which requires harmonics and breathy sounds from the flutist. Personally, I kept returning to this track over and over again.

Bass flute makes an appearance in 60.8%. It is combined with electronics. While I won’t give away the precise meaning of the title, it refers to political and economic situations in Greece. Consequently, this work has a Greek “feel” to it, as it was influenced by rebetiko, a type of Greek folk music.

Pheromone, the title track, utilizes flute, bass flute, piano, and electronics. The electronics take a backseat in this track; instead, the flute(s) and piano “[express] one idea simultaneously, but from diverging perspectives.”

Finally, the Etude for contrabass flute and TI83+ calculator is a fantastic and adorable ending. It clocks in at slightly less than two minutes but is chock-full of contrasting sounds (from the low contrabass flute to the high-pitched calculator) and timbres (acoustic versus electronic). It’s the chocolate truffle dessert after this substantial and highly satisfying meal of an album.

Walker – Finchcocks Schubertiade

This is a fascinating album by Elizabeth Walker and Richard Shaw. They have recorded a collection of 19th century works by Franz Schubert and Theobald Boehm (based on a Schubert waltz) on instruments of that time period; one of these works was arranged by Walker. The result is a fascinating peek back in history to what these pieces would have sounded like when they were newly composed. From a performer’s perspective, this is a significant learning opportunity. The well-researched liner notes include information about the works as well as the instruments; there are also photographs of the instruments.

Walker’s performance is outstanding. The colors and phrasing that she coaxes out of the Louis Lot flute are sensitively chosen and always interesting. This is an album you will return to again and again.

Finchcocks Schubertiade
Devine Music, DMCD003

Elizabeth Walker, Louis Lot flute no. 435
Richard Shaw, Ignace Pleyel piano

Franz Schubert – Arpeggione Sonata, D. 821

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Adagio
  • Allegretto

Franz Schubert – Lieder

Das Fischermädchen

Franz Schubert – Trockne Blumen, Introduction and Variations, Op. 160, D. 802

Franz Schubert – Lieder

Gute Nacht
Der Lindenbaum

Theobald Böhm – Variations sur Une Valse de Schubert, Op. 21

Franz Schubert – Lieder

Am Meer
Die Taubenpost

McBirnie – Grain of Sand

Grain of Sand represents the second collaboration between Canadian jazz flutist Bill McBirnie and multi-instrumentalist Bruce Jones. On this recording, Jones serves as composer, vocalist, performer, arranger, and engineer. They collaborate on original works, which range in style from ambient to bossa nova. Jones, who was raised in Brazil, brings this musical influence to his music, while combining it with other differing styles.

The process of creating the tracks on this album is an interesting one. Jones essentially writes, plays, and records each track; at that point, McBirnie enters the picture to overlay flute melodies based on Jones’ original conception. McBirnie then goes back and improvises over each track, as improvisation is an important element in his work. These tracks are then edited by Jones and McBirnie until they have a finished product.

McBirnie’s solid technique is evident throughout this album, and he is clearly an experienced improviser, as he makes it sound easy. His tone is warm and round and lends itself well to this style. For more information about his work, visit

Extreme Flute, EF07

Bill McBirnie – flute, alto flute, piccolo
Bruce Jones – guitar, vocals, percussion, synths

Grain of Sand (Grão de Areia)
fado, bossa nova
Se Eu Fico Com Você (If I Stay With You)
hip-hop, samba, rock
Quando A Chuva Cai (As the Rain Falls)
Izabel (Isabel)
bossa nova
Lembrando Paul Horn (Remembering Paul Horn)
Breque Trio a Trêz (Break Samba Trio for Three)
samba de breque
Carnaval Blue (Blue Carnival)
funk, samba
Vai Bem Devagar (Proceed with Caution)
6/8 bossa
Cê Tá Com Tudo (You Are Everything)
samba, rock
A Ponte Para Carlton (The Carlton Bridge)
6/8 afro brasil
Na Quinta Esquina (On the Fifth Corner)
Motel Cê Que Sabe (…Who Knows Motel…)
flowing samba
Com ou Sem Você, Meu Amor (With or Without You, My Love)
hip-hop samba
Grão de Areia (Grain of Sand)

RighteousGIRLS – gathering blue

gathering blue, the debut album by New York-based RighteousGIRLS — flutist Gina Izzo and pianist Erika Dohi — features works by nine new music and jazz composers. This album seems less a collection of disparate works and more a cohesive experience, as the occasional interlude and the postlude help to thread each piece together.


The duo collaborates with other musicians on this disc, incorporating the sound of steel pan, trumpet, and drums. These partnerships further expand the sonic experience of the album.


The music itself is interesting to the ears; most of the works on this recording were either commissioned or adapted by the duo. Among the pieces there is improvisation, an open-form work, overdubbing, and prepared piano, all of which bring fresh sounds to the listener and variety to the overall album.

This is an adventurous album that succeeds. Learn more about RighteousGIRLS at their website or Twitter @RighteousGIRLS.


gathering blue

New Focus Recordings


GIRLS – Pascal Le Boeuf
Accumulated Gestures (feat. Justin Brown) – Vijay Iyer
Anzu (feat. Ambrose Akinmusire) – Ambrose Akinmusire
Robe Threader (Interlude) – Pascal Le Boeuf
… nobody move… – Randy Woolf
non-poem 1 – Jonathan Ragonese
KARakurENAI (feat. Andy Akiho) – Andy Akiho
gathering blue (Interlude) – Pascal Le Boeuf
etca’rtnE – Pascal Le Boeuf and Mike Perdue
Entr’acte – Mike Perdue
For Milton – Christian Carey
Edge – Dave Molk

…Out Of The Blue (Postlude) – Pascal Le Boeuf

Osner – Unbound

In this collection, Elise Osner presents us with a lovely collection of music for Native American flute that she composed herself; she states in her liner notes that this music is “often received as a gift rather than created.” She further explains that much of the music has come from the beach or the mountains. Osner performs on three different instruments: an E flute made of cherry wood, a D flute made of cedar wood, and an F-sharp flute made of padauk wood.

The pieces are peaceful, and some of them feature nature sounds. The impressions of nature are apparent throughout the album, including the ocean and its creatures, meadows, birds, and dragonflies. Overall, this is an enchanting album that would make an excellent addition to your collection.


Elise Osner, Native American flutes

The Spirit’s Call
Whale Song
Meadow Music
The Willow’s Song
With Eagles
Waterfall #1
E Flute Improvisation
Duet with Warbler
Waterfall and Waves
Song of the Peace Pact
Walking by Water
Blessing Song

Bevani – Sacred Songs Within

This album by Bevani, who describes herself as a classical crossover artist, features twelve perfectly pleasant tracks. Bevani is based in Seattle and teaches lessons as well as plays around town. The tracks on this album are all played with synthesized backing, which was arranged by Bevani and Jeremy Gordon. There is a consistency about the album that adds to its relaxing feel. This is an excellent collection for yoga, meditation, or general relaxation.  Learn more about Bevani at her website,

Sacred Songs Within

Bevani (Beverly Brossmann), flute

Ave Maria – Gounod
Largo from Concerto No. 4 – (Winter)
On Wings of Song
The Swan
Meditation from Thais
The Last Rose of Summer
The Girl with Flaxen Hair
Ave Maria (Schubert)
Si Bheag Si Mhor
Morceau de Concours
Dance of the Blessed Spirits