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David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2007

The disc is issued in Naxos's on-going series featuring the principals of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and features the highly distinguished Wolfgang Schulz, the principal flautist with the VPO for the past thirty-seven years. He has already made many discs as a soloist and has appeared on countless recordings by the Philharmonic. He is here joined by his son, Matthias, born in 1972 and Wolfgang's student at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. Now a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, he is, like his father, involved in teaching the next generation of flautists. They open with an adaptation of a Mozart four-hand Piano Sonata, the two flutes required to show their agility in the final movement, a feature that continues in the opening of Kuhlau's ornate Grand Trio, a dialogue piece between the two flutes, the piano adding a backdrop. Typically spiky and at times harmonically naughty, the Francaix is a quite lengthy score for flute and alto flute. The Saint-Saens is a typically tuneful work that blends the silvery sounds of the flute with the clarinet. Thus far it has been ideal for Wolfgang, but the Poulenc has attracted so many recordings with soloists who have that creamy sound and fast vibrato that sounds so 'French', and I miss that element in his playing. The recording comes from Austrian Radio, I have heard more convincing piano sound.

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