Carl REINECKE (1824-1910)
Undine Sonata for flute and piano, Op. 167 [20:44]
Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Flute Sonata in D major, Op. 94 [23:56]
George ENESCU (1881-1955)
Cantabile et Presto, for flute and piano [6:06]
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Sonata for flute and piano (1936) [14:24]
Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960)
Aria for flute and piano, Op. 48 No. 1 [6:32]
Daniela Koch (flute)
Oliver Triendl (piano)
rec. 2-4 April 2013, München BR Studio 2
INDÉSENS INDE074 [71:42]

The young Austrian flautist Daniela Koch won second prize at the Munich ARD International Competition in 2010. This is her second CD, and features a wide variety of works from the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th century.

The earliest piece on this attractive album is Carl Reinecke’s Undine Sonata from 1882. Reinecke wrote three significant pieces for flute, including a Concerto and a Ballade. The Sonata is in four movements, with the flute mostly playing legato melodies, except in the Intermezzo, where it is called upon to negotiate staccato passagework.

Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata in D major Op.94 is better known today in its violin sonata form. It began life as a flute sonata before Dimitri Shostakovich and David Oistrakh were sufficiently impressed by it to request a violin transcription. Written during the Second World War, it is a tour de force for the flautist and covers the full range of the flute up to the high D.

George Enescu wrote his Cantabile et Presto for flute and piano as a solo de concours (exam piece) for the Paris Conservatoire - specifically for Paul Taffanel’s 1904 flute class. It follows the general formula for solos de concours, starting with a slow lyrical Cantabile followed by a fast, technically challenging concluding Presto, so that every facet of a student's playing is thoroughly tested.

Paul Hindemith wrote a sonata with piano accompaniment for all of the common orchestral instruments, many of which he could play. The Flute Sonata was written in 1936, before he moved to the United States via Switzerland. The Flute Sonata adopts the same kind of harmonic language as the other Hindemith sonatas from the late 1930s, with the second movement being a funeral march on a descending bass, very much typical of this composer.

Ernst von Dohnányi moved to the United States at the end of the Second World War. Late in his career he wrote two pieces for flute: the Aria for flute and piano Op. 48 No.1 (1958) and the Passacaglia for solo flute Op. 48 No.2 (1959). The Aria included here is the shortest and the simplest piece on the programme.

I had high expectations of Daniela Koch and she does not disappoint. Throughout the album her technique is fluent and smooth, not a single note is out of place. She has the great ability to play very softly in the uppermost register when the music calls for it, and her judicious use of vibrato makes a pleasant listening experience. Ms. Koch is sensitive to the dynamic nuances and has a wide palette of tone colours on display. German pianist Oliver Triendl - a familiar name from his work for CPO - is a sensitive piano accompanist and at no point drowns out the flute.

All of the works on this pleasing album, with the exception of the Dohnányi Aria, are staples of the flute repertoire, and provide good stylistic contrast with one another. The booklet in English, German and French is concise and informative.

Wai Kit Leung

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