Ace flutist, Robert Stallman is Boston based and Paris trained. Stallman has made his career as a renowned teacher (New England Conservatory), soloist, chamber player and latterly, arranger of new repertoire for the flute. It is three of these superior arrangement/transcriptions that make up Stallman’s latest recording, ‘New Schubert — Works for Flute and Strings’.
The repertoire for the flute is not small, though many of us complain about the quality of much of it. No surprise, then, that Stallman goes for the big guns and arranges a piano sonata and two violin/piano sonatas from the master Schubert. The original works are gems and the shine remains, no doubt due to the superb arrangements and the first class performances. I followed along via the scores on IMSLP and soon forgot the original inspiration. As such, purchase the CD with the intention of listening to Schubert originals.
Stallman is joined by the expert players from the Martinu Quartet. They add a sense of occasion to the Quartets and Quintet because of flawless intonation and the very best tenets of chamber music practice.
Although a real musical collaboration, it must be said that Robert Stallman stars on this CD — his playing is superb in the repertoire. He is unfailingly musical, his tuning and technique are first class, and his tone demonstrates his Rampal/Marion training. He sounds much like his famous teachers, with the most sparkling sound and gorgeous phrasing.
The performances are scrupulously prepared but still sound improvisatory, perfect for Schubert’s grace and genius. As listener, you could enjoy these performances at a coffee house like Schubert’s Viennese local, Bogner’s, or in the most serious concert setting. Whatever your mood, they’ll inspire and uplift.
Stallman includes quotes about ‘heart’, ‘love’ and companionship in the liner notes. The three words are found in abundance between the musical sentences on this CD. Warmly recommended.
New Schubert Works for Flute & Strings
First Recordings of Sonatas in Transcription
Bogner’s Café, BOCA-103 (2009)
Playing Time: 66:56
Robert Stallman, flutist and arranger
Karel Untermüller, viola
Quartet in E Flat Major, D.568
Quintet in A Major, D.574
Quartet in G Minor, D.408
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