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Vocalise – Adam Walker and James Baillieu

Principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra, Adam Walker presents a recital of alternately lyric and dynamic music for flute and piano. A lovelorn song from Die schöne Müllerin forms the basis of a set of variations by Schubert, and reflective songs without words by Poulenc and Barber offer mellifluous contrast with the dancing energy of Bartók, Messiaen and Poulenc’s sonata.

He is a superb player, with a tone that is slightly cool, and there is much delicacy of nuance in his phrasing. This especially suits French music, and his partner James Baillieu provides accompaniments with just the right degree of often gentle support, balanced with the flute to perfection. So the listener can expect something distinctive here, and is not disappointed. —Gramophone, July’13