Philippe Gaubert - Pieces Romantiques - CD

Amazon.co.uk official review - Like many French composers of his generation, Philippe Gaubert (1879-1941) combined a successful career as composer/conductor of opera and ballet, with a regular output of instrumental pieces. Written between 1917 and 1933, all three flute sonatas abound in imaginative touches that enhance their technical fluency and three movement format. The first sonata, dedicated to the memory of his teacher Paul Taffanel, is the most classical in form and emotional range; a restraint offset by the frequent virtuosity of its successor, written for the legandary Marcel Moyse, and the rhapsodic vein of the third sonata, composed for Jean Boulze. While there's all the expected charm and lightness you associate with this medium, there's a nostalgia, even melancholy that are Gaubert's alone. It's these qualities that Kathryn Thomas brings out in her performances, recorded with a forward balance that rightly emphasises emotion as much as elegance. Richard Shaw is a thoughtful accompanist, and cellist Phoebe Scott joins in for the final two pieces, including the Pièce Romantique--ravishing music alone worth the price of the disc. --Richard Whitehouse