This recording contains a series of six splendid works for two flutes by Wilhelm Friedeman Bach (1710-1784), the eldest son of J.S. Bach: the Duettos in e minor, E major, F major, G major, E major; and f minor
. The flute seems to have been a special favorite of W.F. Bach; the great majority of his chamber music works feature the flute. These pieces for two flutes have a distinct and individual character that is refreshing and appealing. W.F. Bach combines some of the best features of Baroque and Pre-classic gallant styles with an Romantic sentiment. While it might seem a bit obsessive to listen to all of the duos straight through at one sitting, they are very interesting and original pieces that would do well when stored in the random play mode of your IPod or MP3 player. (This is the kind of music you “wish” your local coffee house would put on their playlists to accompany your morning brew and frappuccinos treats. As played by this fine pair, W.F. Bach’s music has the bite and vigor of expresso and the smoothness of latte while adding a froth-like sweetness on top.)
Zucker and Andon have lovely sounds, with matching colors, intensities, vibrato speeds, and phrasing. This “twinning,” combined with their impeccable intonation and singing interpretations, makes the beautiful suspensions and parallel thirds achingly beautiful at times. You will want to hear more--and they have also released recently two other fine CDs of Mozart’s Duets and of J.S. Bach’s Trio Sonatas. [Full-disclosure: Sara Andon is a graduate of my university, Cal State San Bernardino, and we are justly proud of her.]
The Flute Network Recommends: From the April 2008 issue
"Laurel Zucker and Sara Andon combine their expertise as flautist in the realm of classical music. Both women are virtuoso performers, veterans that have performed and recorded for many years.
The Complete W.F. Bach Flute Duos is an ambitious set being that is a complete group of compositions featuring the genius of Bach. This is not new territory for either performer and that becomes rather obvious right from the start to the very end of the CD.
Laurel is brilliant with adapting her style of playing with other artists and this is yet another triumph for her. Sara is equally adept; in fact, it is very difficult to tell which artist is playing at any given moment, because they compliment each other so well. I imagine someone that has been listening to them for years would be able to pick out all the subtle nuances and varying tones; however, my ear is not trained as of yet to detect this. In the end, it did not matter to me as I enjoyed the entire recording.
Each musician has a way of taking each composition and making it their own and using their partner as a place to get answers to the call of their lovely notes that seamlessly flow out of their flutes. It is as if the ladies were pied pipers leading me into the forest of enchantment. Of course, this music is much more complex and difficult to play then some perky ditty on a woodwind; I found this to be a kind of magical frame of reference to use for my own entertainment. This is definitely a slice of heaven to be cherished and a great way to relax and appreciate one of the great masters of music."Band Weblogs