When the majority of flute concertos are lightweight, it is not surprising that leading flautists are keen to expand the repertory, adapting more ambitious works. That is how, on the suggestion of the composer himself, Jean-Pierre Rampal in 1968 came to prepare a brilliant transcription of Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto recorded here by Emmanuel Pahud. A soft-grained flute could hardly cut through orchestral textures in the concert-hall in the way a violin can, but on disc careful balancing without focusing on the solo instrument too aggressively has produced a successful result.
One of the more puzzling remarks about the music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach came from Mozart, who said that anyone who listened closely would realize his debt to the German composer. That seemed unlikely, given that Mozart only rarely availed himself of the Sturm und Drang ("storm and stress") style of C.P.E.'s keyboard music. But listen to this release by flutist Emmanuel Pahud and you'll get an idea of what Mozart was talking about. It's not just that the flute concertos are basically galant in style, not Sturm und Drang. It's a certain nervous energy that makes the flute bloom rapidly out of squarish themes and keeps you guessing as to what's coming next.
This two-disc package from Emmanuel Pahud explores the music performed at the court of King Frederick the Great of Prussia. Frederick was an accomplished amateur flutist, and, thus, cultivated music for his instrument from the best composers of his day. This included Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Johann Joachim Quantz. Frederick himself and his sister Anna Amalia also composed works featuring the flute. Pahud chose selections by each of these composers, filling the first disc with concertos and the second with chamber pieces and solos. These pieces span the period between the Baroque and Classical eras, but in general even Frederick's and C.P.E. Bach's sonatas have more in common with the former than the latter. They still employ the basso continuo accompaniment, however, all of it is very charming and agreeable, as much of the music of that era is.]
“Pahud’s playing is always crisp and stylish, whether in virtuoso display or in more tender passages where the flute traces a line of filigree delicacy.”The Daily Telegraph
For the fourth and penultimate volume of his Fauré series, Eric Le Sage has been joined by Alexandre Tharaud, Emmanuel Pahud, and François Salque, long-standing accomplices, in order to record these pieces for four hands. Recipient of numerous prizes both in France and abroad, this complete Fauré series is already asserting itself as a reference for the interpretation of Gabriel Fauré’s chamber music with piano.
Boundary crossing has become a part of musical life for classical and jazz musicians in recent years, opening ears and minds to sound worlds once jealously guarded by purist audiences and critics. The musical meeting of Emmanuel Pahud, one of the world’s most celebrated classical flute players, with acclaimed jazz pianist Jacky Terrasson has created a fresh, beguiling take on melodies originally conceived for the formal setting of the concert hall or recital room.