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Classical Music Review

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Nouvelle Vie
A Rediscovery of French Flute Music


Composers: Various
Performed by: Michelle Batty Stanley (Flute) and Margaret McDonald (Piano)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 January 2018

Flutist Michelle Batty Stanley and pianist Margaret McDonald breathe new life into classic 19th and 20th century compositions on their new album Nouvelle Vie: A Rediscovery of French Flute Music. The duo dream up new interpretations of both familiar French favourites as well as works by lesser known composers...

The compositions chosen for this album were written either for the Paris Conservatory Flute Studio as end of the year projects or as small concert pieces. The album is reminiscent of the opera-like qualities of that specific era of music, a time when the flute was seen as the star instrument.

Now, I may be a little biased here, as I can pick up a flute and get a tune out of it, but I really got a huge amount of pleasure out of this album. It's probably a good idea to ignore the "Rediscovery of French Flute Music" in the title, as it may conjure up all sorts of Hell if you're not au fait with the pieces.

Just think of it as a collection of memorable classical pieces that are performed by a solo flute and piano. In fact, even that sounds misleading... I challenge anyone to listen to this and not come away thinking that the performances make it sound fuller than a single flute and piano album. In fact you can almost feel the passion that the duo have for each piece simply through their playing.

It's a beautiful album, and one you'll get years of pleasure from.

Track listing:

01 - Mélodies, Op. 39: No. 8, Canzonetta (Version for Flute & Piano)
02 - Madrigal
03 - Romance, Op. 33
04 - 3 Pièces for Flute & Piano, Op. 28: No. 3 in A-Flat Major
05 - Pièce No. 4 in F Major for Flute & Piano, Op. 75
06 - Sicilienne (Version for Flute & Piano)
07 - Arabesque
08 - Barcarolle
09 - Sérénade mélancolique
10 - 2 Morceaux, Op. 41: No. 1, Lamento
11 - 2 Morceaux, Op. 41: No. 2, Intermezzo
12 - Romanza, Op. 33 No. 1
13 - Flute Sonata No. 1 in A Major: I. Modéré
14 - Flute Sonata No. 1 in A Major: II. Lent
15 - Flute Sonata No. 1 in A Major: III. Allegro moderato


Darren Rea

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