Katherine Bryan - Live as St George's - Bristol Evening Post
Although she is only in her mid-twenties, Katherine Bryan is not only the principal flautist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, but her playing career as a soloist is extensive, as is her repertoire. Last night's concert also celebrated the release of a new recording on Linn Records.
She began her recital in Bristol with one of the newly-recorded pieces, Fantasie by French composer Georges Hüe, dating from 1913, a curious blend of styles, from modal, quasi-Asian, to impressionist and romantic.
Sonatas by César Franck and Francis Poulenc followed, both staples of the flute repertoire, although Franck's piece began life for violin and piano, and was later arranged for flute as well as cello. Overall, the piano gives this sonata most of its personality and Scott Mitchell was excellent in the technically-challenging accompaniment here and throughout the recital. Some clarity was lost in the reverberant hall on both instruments, but this also gave a glow to much of the music.
The Poulenc Sonata was a more enjoyable piece, with quirky energy in the two outer movements, whose music wouldn't be out of place in an animation film.
Katherine Bryan's technique is at a very high level, her playing is strong and confident, with great control of breath, fingering and smooth phrasings. She excelled in Toru Takemitsu's haunting piece Voice, with sliding notes, harmonics, vocalising and flutters - a highlight of the concert, and played in total darkness!