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Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, March 2014

This is an album as remarkable for the extraordinary quality of Faust’s playing as for the quality of the music. I strongly endorse this disc for its many spectacular and exhilarating moments, as well as for those moments of repose and quietude. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, March 2014

Given the excellence of Faust’s technique, his versatility, and the personality of his playing, it is unlikely that anyone will find these performances lacking in any significant way, and they are unlikely to be challenged any time soon. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Todd Gorman
American Record Guide, March 2014

Michael Faust…plays all these pieces with technical assurance, including singing and playing together in the cadenza of the concerto. The Jyvaskyla Sinfonia plays this relatively straightforward music well and infuses it with atmosphere. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

BBC Music Magazine, December 2013

Vasks deserves to be better known. His colourful, dramatic music is well-served here by powerful orchestral work and sensitive playing by the soloists. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, November 2013

In his Concerto for flute and orchestra Vasks’ also has that precise quality for which the flute, with its bright, clear tone, is a perfect vehicle. This is a seriously brilliant work of almost indescribable beauty. It works its magic on the listener from the very opening and is so captivating it is difficult to leave it for another work without wanting to hear it again immediately. No one could fail to be mesmerised by its fabulous tonal quality. Also fascinating are the extraordinary abilities of flautist Michael Faust for whom the concerto was written.

The art of flute playing is again amply demonstrated in the Sonata for flute and alto flute solo. It’s in three movements, the central one for flute and the outer ones for alto flute. It is an object lesson in flute virtuosity in which Vasks has the instruments mimic the calls of animals or birds. None of this presents any challenge at all to Faust whose artistry seems boundless.

Aria e danza for flute and piano is less identifiable in terms of geographical origin. That in no way detracts from its qualities. It was written ostensibly for teaching purposes but I can imagine that any would-be flautist who could achieve a convincing performance of it would be considered as being on their way to achieving their aim.

The final work Landscape with Birds for flute solo is another composition that would test all but the most skilled musicians. It calls for almost every facet the instrument can produce.

The sound is superb. South Indian-born pianist Sheila Arnold is an utterly sympathetic partner for Faust in the Aria e Danza. The small 38-member Finnish Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä is exemplary in its performance of the concerto under Patrick Gallois who has been its music director for nine years up to 2013. After his tenure ends the orchestra’s artistic committee will take on the responsibility for deciding its programmes.

This is a wonderful disc of the most compelling music. Once again Naxos has come up trumps in presenting it to the public and at a price it can afford. All of this should help it to achieve the widespread recognition it deserves. © MusicWeb International Read complete review

Ettore Garzia
Percorsi Musicali, October 2013

Flute Concerto proves that Vasks not only is one of the most prominent figures in the field of choral music, but also in the other classical segments (from instrumental concerts to chamber music and so on). You discover a composer who definitely has an advantage (a gift) compared to his colleagues in terms of inventive: perhaps in this collection the “spiritual” interest of symphonic/minimalistic compositions seems distant, but the gain is to be close to a sense of accomplished forms that, in some ways, is surprising. © Percorsi Musicali

David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2013

Enjoying a life as an orchestral double-bass in his native Latvia for eleven years, Peteris Vasks only began to study composition in 1973 at the age of twenty-six. Today he is regarded as the one of the nation’s most important musical voices in a wide range of genres. He is also a modern-day composer who has returned to the fundamentals of tonality and the academic rectitudes of the 20th century. Yet within those boundaries he has developed his own style, his harmonies unusual and highly attractive. The present disc covers much that he has written for solo flute, including the world premiere recording of the Flute Concert in its 2011 revision. Composed for the German flautist, Michael Faust, the soloist on this disc, it is a brilliant showpiece of technical brilliance, the quirky central Burlesca offering an exacting test of agility as the music flies around the instrument. The unaccompanied Sonata for Flute and Alto Flute covers much the same ground, the Alto Flute in the pensive outer movements surrounding the deftness required for the central movement. Michael Faust, presently principal flute with the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, is the outstanding soloist who makes light of technical demands. Conductor, Patrick Gallois, obtains excellent playing from the Sinfonia Finlandia in the concerto, while the highly detailed recording has the flute in close proximity. © David’s Review Corner

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