Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(New titles - January)


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Works for Voice by György Kurtág

Best Seller

Chopin Piano Concerto No.1

Schubert Piano sonata

Schubert symphony No. 9

Katherine Watson (Sop)

From Severn to Somme

Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing
this disc through MusicWeb
for £13.50 postage paid world-wide.

Colours of a Flute
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Syrinx (1913) [2:09]
*Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un Faune (arr. Gustav Samazeuilh) [10:02]
Jacques IBERT (1890-1962)
Pièce (1936) [4:41]
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
*Flute Sonata (1956-57) [11:43]
Pierre-Octave FERROUD (1900-1936)
Trois Pièces (1921-22) [8:01]
André JOLIVET (1905-1974)
*Chant de Linos (1944) [11:11]
Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992)
*Le Merle Noir (1952) [5:43]
Urszula Janik (flute)
*Joanna Kaczmarska-Biezynska (piano)
rec. Chamber Music Hall, Warsaw Philharmonic, 14-16 December 2011.
CD ACCORD ACD 179-2 [54:37]

The 'Colours of a Flute' title is self-explanatory in this exploration by Polish flautist Urszula Janik of a gratifyingly lyrical mixture of core and rarer, solo and accompanied repertoire - French music from the first half of the 20th century indeed.
Listeners are "invited to embark on a fascinating journey" experienced through "the rich palette of flute colours". In that regard, one immediately apparent issue, in the duos, is that the flute has been recorded set back slightly from the piano. This has the effect, ironically, of slightly diluting those colours. On the other hand, the three solo works are entirely unaffected, and the quality of the engineering capturing the full range of the flute can be better appreciated.
Gustav Samazeuilh's arrangement for piano of Debussy's original orchestral score of Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un Faune may be tantamount sacrilege to many, but it does have the obvious advantage of allowing this impressionistic masterpiece to be performed all the more frequently. Nevertheless, Debussy had his reasons for not scoring for flute and piano, and certainly a significant portion of the work's inherent magic is lost.
Elsewhere, the neo-Classical contributions of Ibert, Poulenc and Ferroud combined with Jolivet's and Messiaen's altogether more - but not overly - avant-garde pieces add up to a programme that is as varied as it is entertaining. For those of more traditional tastes, Poulenc's adorable Sonata will probably be the highpoint of this recording in expressive terms, but Messiaen's ornithologically-inspired Blackbird gets the catholic vote.
Urszula Janik, who plays lead flute in the Warsaw Philharmonic, asserted her technical gumption recently on a Naxos recording of Penderecki's hardcore-modernist Fonogrammi (8.572482). A different kind of virtuosity is required in this altogether more ear-friendly recital. The technical demands are still high, of course, but Janik deals with them comfortably, at the same time demonstrating a considerable degree of delicacy and poise. Pianist Joanna Kaczmarska-Biezynska does not get a mention on the front cover, but she deserves one for her own appreciable and intelligent contribution.
Flute positioning aside, the audio is very good. A flautist's sharp intakes of air are the bane of many a recording, but not here. The Polish-English booklet notes by Aleksandra Beben are detailed and approachably intelligent, if on one occasion rather tendentious: "In the place of the pomposity and unbridled emotionality of the late Romanticism..." Translations are admirably done.
Collected reviews and contact at