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Awakening– 21stCentury Slovenian Flute Music Blaž PUCIHAR (b.1977)
Trio for flute, oboe and piano (2012) [7:58] Črt Sohar VOGLAR (b.1976)
Prebujanje Narave (the Awakening of Spring) for solo flute (2010) [6:05] Blaž PUCIHAR
ForMe for solo flute (2004) [4:47] Črt Sohar VOGLAR
Trio Op.67 for flute, clarinet and bassoon (2002) [10:27] Blaž PUCIHAR
Sonatina Op.5 for flute and piano (2004) [10:30] Peter KOPAČ (b.1949)
Romanca (arr. flute, piano and string bass, 2013) [3:50]
Nicole Molumby (flute), Andrea Ridilla (oboe), Blaž Pucihar (piano), Leslie Moreau (clarinet), Janis McKay (bassoon), Jošt Drašler (string bass)
rec. February and March 2013, chapel, Glasbena Šola Music School, Škofja Luka, Slovenia MSR CLASSICS MS1448 [43:44]
If the thought that anything including the words ‘21st century’ suggests difficult contemporary music and frighten you off let me allay such fears. This disc contains the most delightful and charming music for flute that I have heard in a very long time.
These three composers are from Slovenia, the northernmost republic of the former Yugoslavia, nestled between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. It’s a mere eleventh the size of Britain with a population of just over two million but the music they have written is big, bold, inventive and joyous. It goes to show that size is often irrelevant.
Blaž Pucihar is a faculty accompanist at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana from which he graduated in 1999. He is a member of both the successful Quartet Tulipan and the Bachology Quartet who perform jazz-inspired arrangements of J.S. Bach - shades of Jacques Loussier. It is heartening to read that his music has already reached the UK. The Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) has recently accepted his work Playful Pony as an obligatory piece for the 5th grade exam for would-be flautists. His Trio for flute, oboe and piano is chock-full of memorable melodies and its main theme is another that soon becomes an ear-worm. It is bright, lively and is guaranteed to lift the deepest gloom; in fact a real ‘feel good’ work that is difficult to shake off. Likewise his work for solo flute entitled ForMe is a gorgeous and inventive little piece crammed with ravishing harmonies. The last of his works here is the Sonatina for Flute and Piano which is ten minutes of sublime music. It stand as further proof of this composer’s originality and ability to come up with delicious tunes.
Črt Sohar Voglar studied at the same academy as Pucihar, graduating a year later in 2000. He has held various academic posts at home and in Sweden and is presently a lecturer in music theory at the University of Ljubljana. His work for solo flute, The Awakening of Spring, that gives this disc its title, is beautifully melodic. The other work of his is the Trio Op.67 for flute, clarinet and bassoon showing that he has a keen ear for chamber music and can produce works of real quality.
The final piece is by a composer from a previous generation: Peter Kopač was born in 1949. His Romanca has been arranged for flute, piano and string bass. It would be interesting to know what it was originally written for as this version sounds distinctly jazzy and has a charmingly perky edge.
All the players are experts at their jobs, including composer Pucihar as pianist. Nicole Molumby, whose idea this project was, shows considerable prowess as flautist with a beautifully mellifluous tone. The recording and the sound is clear and precise. The only downside is that the disc is a mere 44 minutes long which not only short-changes the customer but is a particular shame since there is presumably a great deal more wonderful music to be auditioned from that country.