Kenneth Smith was for almost thirty years principal flute of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and developed a great reputation in that role. Together with pianist Paul Rhodes he has made several CDs of both famous and lesser-known works. This CD Vocalise , indeed a ‘ beloved classics concert’, includes a top 11 of romantic and virtuoso works.

The CD is a tribute to Taffanel and complements the 3CD box “The Legacy of Paul Taffanel” which appeared in 2010. The recordings on Vocalise were made between 1992 and 1996 when Smith was in top form. The first word that comes to mind when listening is ‘singing’: the title is chosen perfectly! Smith plays in a smooth and silky French style with the most beautiful legato. His playing is elegant and graceful, even when playing high in the third register! In addition, Smith is a fiery virtuoso.

A special flautist and a special CD: basically a tribute to the entire French school of the last century.

—Wieke Karsten