Rotholz Tapestry of American Flute Duos

The album is titled “American Tapestry,” but it’s no crazy quilt. The four duos for flute and piano Susan Rotholz and Margaret Kampmeier perform fit nicely together. All are tonal after a fashion, giving the program coherence; and yet each differ in character to give the listener real variety.

Robert Beaser takes a simple theme and lets it logically unfold with his “Variations for flute and Piano.” Some of the harmonies have an open quality to them, which makes the Variations a nice lead-in to Aaron Copland’s “Duo for Flute and Piano.” This 1971 work has the wide open sound of Copland’s Americana works.

Robert Muczynski’s “Sonata for Flute and Piano” also fits well. to my ears, the work has a Ravel/Debussy quality to it, with a hint of Samuel Barber. That’s not a bad combination, and one that makes for an attractive and enjoyable work. The album concludes with Lowell Liebermann’s “Sonata for Flute and Piano,” and almost seems like a further development of Muczynski’s work. Liebermann’s piece is just as artfully constructed, with melodies that can only be described as beautiful.

Rotholz plays with a clear tone that’s never out of control. Even when the music takes the flute into the extreme upper register, the sound gets brighter but never shrill. The recording is also well-balanced. Both flute and piano are on par with each other and sitting comfortably in the soundfield; close enough to hear all the detail, without capturing any harshness.

American Tapestry: Duos for Flute and Piano
Susan Rotholz, flute; Margaret Kampmeier, piano
Bridge Records

More Recent Posts

  • Joe K. Walsh & Sweet Loam visit WTJU, Oct 27

    Joe K. Walsh & Sweet Loam will stop by WTJU this Thursday afternoon, October 27, around 1:30 (edt) for live session out in the lounge.  Later that afternoon and evening, they will be putting a workshop and concert at The Front Porch (details). Joe K. Walsh has long contributed his tasteful approach to melodic playing […]

  • Dana Louise & the Glorious Birds visit WTJU, Oct 30

    Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds will stop by WTJU‘s Lambeth Lounge for a visit this Sunday, October 30, at 12 (edt) for a live session out in the lounge.  Rumor is Grammy nominated Trout Fishing In America might even share a tune or two, as both groups will be in the area for a […]

  • New Jazz Adds – 10/21/2016

    New Jazz Adds – 10/21/2016 Eric Alexander – Second Impression (HighNote): Veteran tenor player / composer Eric Alexander offers a “second impression” of his hard bop playing in a classic quartet that features Harold Mabern (piano, Fender Rhodes), Bob Crenshaw (bass), and Joe Farnsworth (drums). Alexander is an energetic player and the group is totally […]

  • Charming Disaster on Back Up and Push, Oct 24

    Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris, known collectively as Charming Disaster, return to the WTJU studios this Monday afternoon, October 24, around 4:30 (edt).  Later that evening you can catch them at the Blue Moon Diner in Charlottesville (details). Charming Disaster, a musical duo based in Brooklyn, NY, features indie bandleaders Ellia Bisker of Sweet Soubrette […]

  • Music of Ursula Mamlok, Vol. 5 — A study in contrasts

    Volume five of Bridge Record’s Ursula Mamlok survey is a study in contrasts. Mamlok moved from a neo-classical style at the start of her career in the 1940s to a highly personal version of atonality by the time of her death in 2016. This release presents some of Mamlok’s earliest compositions, as well as some […]

  • Daryl Shawn stops by Around This Town, Oct 18

    Daryl Shawn will stop by WTJU this Tuesday afternoon, October 18, around 4:30 (edt) for a visit ahead of his gig that evening at the Blue Moon Diner (details). Daryl Shawn blends the guitar chops of flamenco and classical with a modern songwriter’s sensibility and the energy of rock. Shawn grew up among Amish farms […]