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Ned Rorem: Chamber Music with Flute / Fenwick Smith, flute; David Leisner, guitar, Ann Hobson Pilot, harp

Audio Samples

>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Mountain Song, for flute (or oboe or violin or cello) & piano
>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Romeo and Juliet, for flute & guitar
>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Trio for flute, cello & piano
>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Book of Hours, pieces (8) for flute & harp
>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Prayers (4), for flute & piano

Album Summary

>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Mountain Song, for flute (or oboe or violin or cello) & piano
>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Romeo and Juliet, for flute & guitar
>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Trio for flute, cello & piano
>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Book of Hours, pieces (8) for flute & harp
>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Prayers (4), for flute & piano
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Ned Rorem's clarity of emotional expression is perfectly suited to the 'breathy gold' of the flute. Covering much of the composer's career, these pieces range from the early Mountain Song which captures the spirit of a rural Kentucky folksong, to the meditative and spectacular Four Prayers. Rorem worked closely with and was "honored to be so dazzlingly represented by" the performers on this recording, describing flutist Fenwick Smith as "a Faun and a Daphnis all in one."

A dedicated teacher, Fenwick Smith has taught at New England Conservatory since 1976; he was the recipient of the conservatory's Laurence Lesser Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2006 he retired from the Boston Symphony Orchestra after a distinguished 28-year career.

MusicWeb International
That Rorem writes attractive, listener-friendly music is clearly demonstrated by this gently atmospheric, introspective and thoroughly genial programme from Smith and co. Smith gives a master-class in flute technique and presentation, never let down by his various co-performers who are no mere accompanists.Sound quality is very good, all the more so considering the age of most of the recordings.

Ritmo
The Book of Hours for flute and harp (1975) careful not to look like the window of a pastry by mixing two very particular timbre, achieving true magic moments. Very good writing music in the interpretation of Fenwick Smith, former principal flute of the Boston Symphony, seems insurmountable.

The Classical Review
The alluring works on this recording of flute chamber music by Ned Rorem span more than six decades, confirming the American composer's resolve to sustain an individual style in which lyricism and elegance are paramount. The disc's most recent piece, Four Prayers (2006), has moments of pastoral beauty that also suffuse the oldest, Mountain Song (1949).

The WholeNote
Former Boston Symphony Orchestra flutist, Fenwick Smith is joined by pianist Mihae Lee, guitarist David Leisner, harpist Ann Hobson Pilot and cellist Ronald Thomas to play five of Rorem's compositions. Smith navigates the varied challenges of the music with aplomb: in Queen Mab from the 1977 Romeo and Juliet suite for flute and guitar for instance, he uses dynamics effectively to build excitement, integrates flutter tonguing seamlessly, all the while maintaining great rapport with his collaborator. In ... it was the nightingale from the same suite, we hear him as an accomplished virtuoso flutist, but for me the most moving moment in the whole CD was his rendering of Last Prayer from Four Prayers, written a mere five or six years ago, the last track on the disc. The performances can be considered definitive: according to the liner notes "Rorem worked closely with" and was "honoured to be so dazzlingly represented by" the performers on this recording.

Infodad.com
This (+++) Naxos CD is a fine addition to the Rorem discography and will be of considerable interest to listeners who mainly know Rorem through his vocal music.

Allmusic.com
Flutist Fenwick Smith presents Rorem's music with a round tone, clear phrasing, and polished execution, and his performances with pianist Mihae Lee, guitarist David Leisner, cellist Ronald Thomas, and harpist Ann Hobson Pilot all reflect a gentle, introspective approach to the music... played with great sympathy and sincerity.

DMX
... This new album contains Rorem's lovely chamber music featuring the flute with guitar, cello, piano, and harp...

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Campion Center, Weston, Massachusetts, USA (04/25/1993); First and Second Church, Boston, USA (04/25/1993); Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/25/1993); Campion Center, Weston, Massachusetts, USA (08/27/2008); First and Second Church, Boston, USA (08/27/2008); Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (08/27/2008); Campion Center, Weston, Massachusetts, USA (09/23/1993-09/25/1993); First and Second Church, Boston, USA (09/23/1993-09/25/1993); Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (09/23/1993-09/25/1993).



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Works Details

>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Mountain Song, for flute (or oboe or violin or cello) & piano
  • Performers: Mihae Lee (Piano); Fenwick Smith (Flute)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1949

>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Romeo and Juliet, for flute & guitar
  • Performers: David Leisner (Guitar); Fenwick Smith (Flute)
  • Notes: First and Second Church, Boston, USA (09/23/1993-09/25/1993)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1977

>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Trio for flute, cello & piano
  • Performers: Mihae Lee (Piano); Fenwick Smith (Flute); Ronald Thomas (Cello)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1960

>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Book of Hours, pieces (8) for flute & harp
  • Performers: Fenwick Smith (Flute); Ann Pilot (Harp)
  • Notes: First and Second Church, Boston, USA (09/23/1993-09/25/1993)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1975

>Rorem, Ned [Composer] : Prayers (4), for flute & piano
  • Performers: Mihae Lee (Piano); Fenwick Smith (Flute)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary