S&H Festival Report

ARS MUSICA FESTIVAL 2002 March 7 - 24, Brussels


Mario Caroli (Flute)

Contemporary Solo Flute Music Elliott Carter, Scrivo in vento, Kaija Saariaho, Laconisme de l'aile, Brian Ferneyhough, Carceri d'Invenzione IIb, Edgar Varèse, Density 21.5, Juka Tiensuu, Cadenza, Henri Pousseur, Flexions I, Toshio Hosokawa, Vertical song I, Salvatore Sciarrino, Morte tamburo

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels 17 March 2002 (ET)

Mario Caroli's morning recital was breathtaking! To play such a heavy concert alone you must have a certain power of endurance. He did it easily, it seemed like it was nothing to him! Scrivo in Vento by Elliott Carter was from the start full of tension. Very long, expressive notes were interrupted by high loud notes. It was remarkable that these high notes sounded "nice" played by Mario Caroli. In Laconisme de Líaile the audience was taken away into another world. The flutist starts with poetry, then whispers the words until the words lead into flute sounds. Very fascinating and inspired!

A very heavy piece is Carceri dí Invenzione IIb by Brian Ferneyhough. Mario Caroli played this difficult piece with great flexibility and exceptional finger and breath-control. I was very impressed by the Cadenza composed by Jukka Tiensuu. The whole work is based on just one note, the central do (or ut) on the flute. But none of these notes sounded the same! Itís like a struggle to try to change the sound of these notes; Mario Caroli was master of this piece!

The piece that made the greatest impression of all was Morte Tambura composed by Salvatore Sciarrino. A total new way of playing on the flute was brilliant performed by Mario Caroli, he has recorded all Sciarrino's solo flute music. I was really impressed by the energetic performance and the tension he could make and hold through all those difficult pieces. For one hour the audience was completely immersed in another world, a world of fantastic flute playing. Most of the time the flute didnít sound like a flute, and thatĎs the way music should be! It was a recital to remain in the memory a long time.

Elke Tierens
(Antwerp) - joint winner of Orpheus Prize 2002

This report from the flautist of the flute-percussion DuoXXI endorses Seen&Heard's appreciation over recent years of Mario Caroli's developing career as a leading contemporary flautist. First noted in unpropitious circumstances in a small, over-resonant room in Strasbourg's Italian Institute, I was told that the 2020 seat Palais des Beaux-Arts at Brussels was an ideal venue for this larger than life performer. Mario Caroli's landmark recording of Sciarrino's l'opera per flauto is newly released on Stradivarius STR 33598-9. Morte Tambura and Ferneyhough's Carceri dí Invenzione IIb can be heard on another of his CDs of contemporary flute solos, one of MusicWeb's Records of the Year 2001 -   SvaNa SVN001 (PGW)

Peter Grahame Woolf

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