Franck, Widor, Strauss: Works for Flute

No doubt a French cousin of Elmer, Emmanuel Pahud is always hunting that crazy transcription. What else is a flutist to do? There is only so much flute repertoire and one is, after all, obliged to play something composed after the death of Mozart. So like so many other loony tune flutists, Pahud has gone out hunting transcriptions of works originally conceived and executed for other instruments to add a little late Romantic meat to a diet otherwise consisting of Baroque bonbons and High Classical tonic water.

And what has Emmanuel Pahud bagged here? A warm-hearted transcription of Richard Strauss' early Sonata for violin and piano, a sweet-hearted transcription of César Franck's middling Sonata for violin and piano, and, lo and behold, a work originally conceived and executed for the flute, Charles-Marie Widor's ineffable Suite for flute and piano. As always, Pahud plays with a dazzling technique and a warm tone ideally suited for the red meat of Strauss, Franck, and Widor. With the able accompaniment of Eric le Sage, Pahud turns in a recording that is done to perfection. EMI's digital sound is so intimate you will swear that Pahud is breathing into your ear, a not altogether pleasant experience.

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