British Flute Music / Jeffrey Khaner, Charles Abramovic

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Even without referring to the concise program notes, you easily hear the pervasive French influence in these flute works by British composers. Fauré, Poulenc, Taffenel, Gaubert, Godard, and others quickly come to mind in the nearly unanimous approach by their British counterparts to slow movements (sweet lilting melodies of innocence) and quicker movements (full of wry, witty, sardonic nuances and savoir-faire endings). By implication, each of these composers looks largely to his French antecedents somewhat self-consciously, even as one of them (Arnold) attempted to avoid the notion. But, these works succeed on their own merits as technically formidable and charming compositions, and, as in his enterprising disc of American flute pieces, Jeffrey Khaner makes a persuasive case for them to be included in the core flute repertoire.

All of the works but one in this recital are sonatas, and thus we can see neat if unintentional parallels in styles that stretch from 1940 (Bowen) to 1996 (Hamilton). Berkeley and Arnold seem to share a penchant for the dance in their respective third movements, with the Arnold particularly saturnine in mood. The slow movements are models of gorgeous flute writing: check out the simply beautiful line that Berkeley spins in the Adagio; the mysterious sparse duet in Maw's early 12-tone sonata; and Bowen's disarming Fauré-like tune. Technical flare is in abundance as well, especially in the vertiginous scales and arpeggios in the middle of the first movement of the Arnold and the ridiculously difficult passages in upper-register in the opening of Matthew's variation set.

As with his previous disc, Khaner emits a vigorous, muscular tone that is unashamed of the occasional breathiness. Fellow Curtis alum Charles Abramovic accompanies Khaner with grace and sensitivity in parts that are nearly as challenging for the pianist as they are for the flute. The sound is rather good if a bit dry for a self-produced recording that Avie has seen fit to release as part of an apparently growing series of flute recitals by this excellent flutist. Perhaps a disc of French music (with British influence!) is next.
--Michael Liebowitz,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: AV0016

  • UPC: 822252001624

  • Label: AVIE

  • Composer: David Matthews, Iain Hamilton, Lennox Berkeley, Malcolm Arnold, Nicholas Maw, York Bowen

  • Performer: Charles Abramovic, Jeffrey Khaner


  1. Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 120

    Composer: York Bowen

    Performer: Charles Abramovic (Piano), Jeffrey Khaner (Flute)

  2. Sonatina for Recorder/Flute and Piano, Op. 13

    Composer: Lennox Berkeley

    Performer: Charles Abramovic (Piano), Jeffrey Khaner (Flute)

  3. Sonatina for Flute and Piano

    Composer: Nicholas Maw

    Performer: Charles Abramovic (Piano), Jeffrey Khaner (Flute)

  4. Spring Days

    Composer: Iain Hamilton

    Performer: Charles Abramovic (Piano), Jeffrey Khaner (Flute)

  5. Duet variations for Flute and Piano, Op. 30

    Composer: David Matthews

    Performer: Charles Abramovic (Piano), Jeffrey Khaner (Flute)

  6. Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 121

    Composer: Malcolm Arnold

    Performer: Charles Abramovic (Piano), Jeffrey Khaner (Flute)