Katherine Bryan - Live at the RSAMD - The Herald (Live)

On disc she is accompanied by the orchestra, under Paul Daniel, while this clever parallel programme teamed her with pianist Scott Mitchell

Of these pieces, only Georges Hue's well-named single movement Fantaisie is on the album (in an orchestral version), and here it was a very colourful and expansive piece for both instruments. Hue was taught by Cesar Franck, whose Flute Sonata is also a very big piece with an almost bewildering number of themes. It boasts its own fantasy sequence in the third movement, marked Recitativo fantasia and full of drama.

In a sense, however, all this was just leading up the Flute Sonata by Lowell Liebermann, a composer Bryan champions, having encountered his work while a student at Julliard. His concerto, alongside that of Carl Neilsen, is on the new recording, and is a piece requested from the American by James Galway. It was the sonata that led to the commission and it is easy to hear why.

After the Franck, the first movement seemed spare and elegant with the piano in precision supporting role, but the contrasting "Presto energico" second movement is an astonishingly exciting piece of writing that contradicts any impression of the flute as an instrument best suited to gossamer impressionism.

The Herald
27 September 2010