Roberto Alvarez & Kseniia Vokhmianina – The Whirlwind Within (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:06:11 minutes | 606 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Odradek Records
Composers of the 20th and 21st centuries have done much to explore the flute’s sonorities in all their variety, from virtuosity and lyricism to more robust, percussive qualities. The works on ‘The Whirlwind Within’, conceived and performed by Spanish flautist Roberto Álvarez and Ukrainian pianist Kseniia Vokhmianina, embrace these facets of the flute, combining its naturally melodic capabilities with innovative techniques.
Roberto Alvarez and Kseniia Vokhmianina both arrived in Singapore in 2008 and soon became some of the most sought-after musicians in Southeast Asia. They started their musical collaboration in 2017, while preparing students for their performances, and immediately noticed that they shared a similar approach to music. Since then, the duo has been active performing numerous recitals as well as releasing recordings.
Roberto and Kseniia have found musical inspiration in the melting pot of cultures in Singapore. Nature, technology, tradition, urban life; all these aspects of life form a whirlwind of diverse influences, hence the title of this album. The duo has worked closely with many of the composers featured here. The album starts with James Rae’s Sonatina; the composer responded: “I am absolutely delighted and feel highly honoured to have my Sonatina included on this album. It is a true privilege to have a recording of my music by such world-class performers as Roberto Álvarez and Kseniia Vokhmianina”; their “interpretation was ‘exactly’ what I had in mind when I composed the work.”
Daniel Sanchez Velasco wrote his agile yet tender ‘Dance Preludes’ in 2020 and says of this recording: “… their interpretation of my ‘Dance Preludes’ has left me speechless. I have no doubt they have improved my work with their artistry.” Gonzalo Casielles Camblor arranged his piece ‘El vals de la fortuna’ for flute and piano at his student Roberto Álvarez’s request; Álvarez thus offers a unique insight into this playful piece. The Sonata No. 1 for flute and piano by Elisenda Fábregas features virtuosic outer movements framing a poetic slow movement and lively scherzo; Fábregas has said that these artists “clearly understood the spirit of the music and were able to bring it out with extraordinary musical confidence and precise technique”.
Jose Elizondo’s lilting ‘Limoncello’ is at once a tribute to Italy and a response to grief. Of this recording the composer has said that Roberto and Kseniia “found the perfect sensitivity and balance. They approach the piece with elegance and grace.” We hear three pieces imbued with South American folk styles by Argentine composer Pablo Aguirre, who believes that these artists “add a regional and national touch from other countries” to his music, and the album culminates in the demanding and original Sonata No. 3 by British composer Mike Mower.
“(His) consummate artistry… keeps the audience spell-bound” (Chang Tou Liang, The Straits Times, Singapore)
“Kseniia performs with a unique fiery energy, intelligence of interpretation, imaginative expression and absolute technical control” <8Kelly Tang, Singapore Cultural Medallion)
1-01. Roberto Alvarez – Sonatina for Flute and Piano: I. Aquarelle (02:47)
1-02. Roberto Alvarez – Sonatina for Flute and Piano: II. Nocturne (03:08)
1-03. Roberto Alvarez – Sonatina for Flute and Piano: III. Fire Dance (02:49)
1-04. Roberto Alvarez – Dance Preludes: I. Allegro (04:33)
1-05. Roberto Alvarez – Dance Preludes: II. Vals lento (01:55)
1-06. Roberto Alvarez – Dance Preludes: III. Allegro (02:53)
1-07. Roberto Alvarez – El vals de la fortuna (01:58)
1-08. Roberto Alvarez – Sonata No. 1 for Flute and Piano: I. Allegro (05:18)
1-09. Roberto Alvarez – Sonata No. 1 for Flute and Piano: II. Largo (03:29)
1-10. Roberto Alvarez – Sonata No. 1 for Flute and Piano: III. Allegretto scherzando (02:15)
1-11. Roberto Alvarez – Sonata No. 1 for Flute and Piano: IV. Allegro molto con brio (03:25)
1-12. Roberto Alvarez – Limoncello (03:45)
1-13. Roberto Alvarez – La fuga (02:01)
1-14. Roberto Alvarez – Distancias (04:41)
1-15. Roberto Alvarez – Pasión ensordecedora (03:29)
1-16. Roberto Alvarez – Sonata No. 3 for Flute and Piano: I. Moraine (01:38)
1-17. Roberto Alvarez – Sonata No. 3 for Flute and Piano: II. Escarpment (04:11)
1-18. Roberto Alvarez – Sonata No. 3 for Flute and Piano: III. Plateau (05:34)
1-19. Roberto Alvarez – Sonata No. 3 for Flute and Piano: IV. Scree (06:13)