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James Galway Plays Beethoven ~ CD ~ Used VG


All Music Guide - James Leonard
Except for two things, James Galway's disc of Beethoven's flute works is unbeatable. First, Beethoven wrote three large-scale works for flute and Galway only plays one of these, the "Serenade," Op. 25, and skips the other two, the "Themes With Variations 6," Op. 105, and the "Themes With Variations 10," Op. 107. Second, he plays two works that are hardly Beethoven at all, his "Serenade," Op. 8, arranged for flute and piano, and a flute sonata that may or may not be by Beethoven. The result is a recital weighted less toward Beethoven and more toward Galway. This is fine, up to a point: Galway's playing is sweet toned and technically impeccable, and his performances here are as charming as his performances of Mozart or Mancini. But one does miss hearing Beethoven when listening to Beethoven's music: Galway's interpretation of the "Serenade," Op. 25, is far more unctuously ingratiating than the work itself, and his interpretation of the arranged "Serenade," Op. 8, is far more slick and sentimental than the real work. And while his interpretation of the flute sonata is far sweeter and more genteel than any real work by Beethoven, at least the work itself may not be by Beethoven. In the sonata and the "Serenade," Op. 8, pianist Phillip Moll is almost wholly self-effacing. In the "Serenade," Op. 25, the string players are nearly anonymous. The recordings were made in three different places at three different times with three different producers and the sound quality fluctuates from the edgy "Serenade," Op. 25, to the flute-heavy sonata to the better-balanced "Serenade," Op. 8.

Disc: 1:

1 Serenade for flute, violin & viola in D major, Op. 25 25:00  
2 Sonata for flute & piano in B flat major, Kinsky-Halm Anh 4 24:58  
3 Serenade for violin, viola & cello in D major, Op. 8 16:28

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 14 October, 2014.

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