This album captures the lyrical musical exchange in June 2012 between two flutists– American Barbara Highton Williams and South African Marietjie Pauw– during their concert tour in the Western Cape of South Africa (and Stellenbosch, where Marietjie lives). It features a rich array of duets and solos they have loved, and a new work written especially for their concerts: Fofa le nna (Fly with me).
Neo Muyanga: Fofa le nna (Fly with me)
Neo Muyanga, born in Soweto, and now living in Cape Town, was commissioned by the Distell Foundation to write this work for Barbara Highton Williams and Marietjie Pauw. He writes, “To fly is superhuman– it is the stuff of dreams. This work was composed for two flutists– sisters in mid-flight. A brief text interrupts as they glide, revealing a fleeting moment of intimacy.” Fofa le nna (Fly with me), sends the flutes bending and swooping, flitting, fluttering, soaring in intertwined flight patterns, and dancing off into the air together over Southern African rhythms.
Elizabeth Brown: Lunette
New York-based Elizabeth Brown combines a successful composing career with an extremely diverse performing life, playing flute, shakuhachi, and theremin. Her unique palette of sound-colors has been called “luminous, dreamlike, and hallucinatory.” Lunette is constructed symmetrically in a shimmering arc, like its namesake window, half-moon shaped at the top of a chapel’s arch, with strong yet simple melodies accompanied by intricate, feathery weavings, delicate and urgent.
Hendrik Hofmeyr: Incantesimo for solo flute
Cape Town composer Hendrik Hofmeyr, winner of multiple international awards and competitions, evokes, in Incantesimo for solo flute, the sudden apparition of a spirit, transparent and ethereal, but in her ghostly way sensual, suggestive, tremulous, whose short-lived visitation ends as mysteriously as it began.
Goffredo Petrassi: Dialogo angelico
One of twentieth century Italy’s most influential composers, Goffredo Petrassi composed this clear, transcendent dialogue between angels, Dialogo angelico, in memory of his friend, music publisher Paolo Giordani. It lifts from a serene reminiscence (in 5/4 time) into a light and graceful dance in triple meter, ending wistfully after another spirited exchange in 5/4.
Elisenda Fábregas: Andante appassionato for solo flute
Elisenda Fábregas was born in Barcelona. After some years in the USA, she now resides in Seoul, South Korea. Her musical style is rooted in classical European tradition, but also incorporates Catalan lyricism with Spanish passion and rhythmic drive. Her quietly impassioned soliloquy, Andante appassionato for solo flute, suggests the cry of a human heart, a stream of contained emotion ranging from disquiet, anger, and gentle mockery to wonder, love, sadness and resignation.
Charles Koechlin: Sonate Op. 75
French composer Charles Koechlin worked in the earlier half of the twentieth century. A contemporary of Ravel and colleague of Satie, Roussel and Milhaud, he taught composition at the Paris Conservatory. Sonate Op.75, is a philosophical meditation on the mysteries of the universe, followed by some playfulness under a dazzling night sky, and a return to mysteries unsolved…
Jindrich Feld: Cinq Inventions
Czech composer Jindrich Feld’s Cinq Inventions comprise a reminiscence of earlier musical styles, revisiting baroque structures in dapper contrapuntal style.
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: Duet in F Major
The album closes with a lightly dancing work that dates from the early Classical period, in which Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, weaves canons in harmonies that were daring for his time.
Recorded by Jürgen von Wechmar (Sunset Studio, Stellenbosch, South Africa)