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Lisa Friend (Flute)/City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra: Cinema Affair

Track List

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Album Remarks & Appraisals:

A top 10 entry in the UK Classical Charts on tis release this summer and a firm airplay favorite.

Delivering a passionate and flawless performance, Lisa Friend creates sublime interpretations of Cinema Paradiso, Once Upon A Time in America, Dances With Wolves, Legends of the Fall, The Cider House Rule to name but a few.

The inspiration for this album is firmly rooted in Lisa's New York childhood. Lisa's father was Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, and during his years leading the orchestra, Lisa would attend the rehearsals and recordings to watch him perform some of the great 20th Century scores - Woody Allen's choice of George Gershwin's music for Manhattan conducted by the great Zubin Mehta, John William's The Witches of Eastwick, Leonard Bernstein's work, Bernard Herrmann's Psycho and Maurice Jarre's Lawrence of Arabia.

Lisa's parent would play cassettes of 'The spaghetti Western's scores in the car, and as a teenager, Lisa became riveted by Ennio Morricone's masterpiece Cinema Paradiso and Ennio became Lisa's hero fil composer. She even wrote her first and only ever fan letter to the great Morricone, thanking him for this incredible music.

Lisa's playing has been warmly received throughout her artistic career, Classic FM describing her tone as "beautiful", American Record Guide as "luscious" whilst BBC Music Magazine comments on Lisa's "bright temperament and a fluid technique".

Album Notes

Audio Mixer: Rick Clark .

Recording information: Smecky Studios, Prague.

Photographer: Sarah Cresswell.

Flutist Lisa Friend has released several lightly thematic albums of short compositions, artfully put together to drive straight up the middle of the road and appeal to the listenership of Britain's Classic FM radio. That outlet has in turn given her a good deal of airplay. The title Cinema Affair is general in its sense; the program consists of film themes arranged for flute and orchestra. Nearly all are in similar slow-to-moderate tempi, and the orchestration is kept consistent, with the result that the distinctiveness of, say Ennio Morricone's main theme for "Once Upon a Time in America" is considerably smoothed down. Sample this to gauge your potential reactions to the whole. The composers are not named anywhere in the graphics; the focus is on Friend's flute, which has an attractive rounded tone and the consistency that is the key to carrying off the project. The accompaniment by the City of Prague Symphony Orchestra was apparently recorded pop style, i.e. separately from Friend's contributions; this results not in detachment, but in more of the control that is the hallmark of the product. The bottom line: those in search of stress-eliminator music will certainly find it here. ~ James Manheim



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