CONSTANTINIDES: Flute Pieces
Iwona Glinka; Michal Wesolowski, cl; Karol Sokolowski, vc; Malgorzata Czapor, Ewa Sarwins- ka, p; Bartosz Paprot, g
Centaur 3547—75 minutes
Flutist and Yamaha Artist Iwona Glinka cared enough for the music of Brian Ferneyhough (b 1943; see M/A 2003) to make some of it the subject of her doctoral dissertation. She has also performed more than 100 works written for her by American, Australian, Belgian, British, Canadian, Greek, German, and Polish composers. Now she devotes herself to flute pieces by Greek-born violinist and composer Dinos Constantinides (1929), who has lived most of his life in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The selections are largely imaginative and worth hearing. The best ones are mesmeriz- ing. These are two trios with clarinet, one orig- inally scored for the Verdehrs. Another large piece is the Songs for Epirus, a four-movement suite for flute and piano that combines sim- plicity, clarity, the Greek landscape, and Greek poetry.
Trio 2 for flute, cello, and piano is a revi- sion and expansion of a piano sonata that was dedicated to the composer’s mother. Written in three connected sections, fast-slow-fast, it seems to have gone where early 20th Century German modernism was going and taken the style further along in time but not further toward atonality. The writing alternates among held notes, fast repeated intervallic gestures, and skitterish punctuations that interrupt and intrude, and uses the entire compass of the keyboard. The whole impression is of striving for effects rather than attaining them, yet there is a sincerety that makes it more meaning than noise.
The shorter pieces include a Renaissance- flavored Ballade for flute and guitar; a folk-like Hellenic Dance for flute, cello, and guitar; and a 7-minute solo flute piece inspired by the Zodiac, Celestial Musings.
Glinka is giving these pieces all she has to offer with her considerable gifts. Her compan- ions match that excellence, though some parts make more demands than others. Readers with an interest in chamber music should get acquainted with Constantinides.
GORMAN This article originally appeared in (January/February 2018) of American Record Guide.