As with his last disc, Vocalise , Kenneth Smith (principal flute of the Philharmonia for over 27 years) showcases the vocal qualities of the flute rather than its potential for brilliance (although his technical mastery is evident too). The playing is a pleasure to listen to, with beautifully even tone, a wide palette of colours, and flawless intonation, accompanied sensitively by Paul Rhodes.
Here are 46 tracks in this double-disc set; some are obvious choices for a ‘vocal’ compilation album: Schumann songs, Elgar, and English traditional songs. There are, however, also some more unusual choices such as Finzi’s Five Bagatelles (originally for clarinet and piano), which transfer well onto flute, and the gypsy inspired violin showpiece Csárdás by Monti. This is a most enjoyable compilation, beautifully played.