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Jeanne Baxtresser—A Collection of My Favorites

Jeanne Baxtresser
A Collection of My Favorites MSR Classics MS1114
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“I admire the courage of Jeanne Baxtresser for putting together a compilation CD of some of her favorite music. It is not a thinly veiled effort to repackage older recordings in the interest of greater profit; it is a sincere and loving offer to the world. Flutists and non-flutists alike will enjoy this remarkable playing and varied repertoire…Her effortless technique still makes my head spin.”—Christopher Chaffee, American Record Guide, Jan/Feb 2007

“Orchestral players occasionally need to declare their artistic independence by turning to music on a more intimate scale sans conductor. Jeanne Baxtresser’s two compilation releases document her gleaming artistry as recitalist and chamber player during the periods she served as principal flute of the Toronto Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. Baxtresser’s sound is warm, kaleidoscopic in colours and even throughout the registers. But she goes beyond tonal lustre and technical élan to explore the expressive possibilities in this multitude of pieces.

“The discs have one overlap, Barber’s Canzone, Op 38a, though in performances with different pianists. The performance with Israela Margalit is more expansive, but both capture the sad beauty of music Barber orchestrated for the second movement of his Piano Concerto. Baxrtesser’s collaborations with colleagues from the Philharmonic and others are captivating, and, as she states in programme-notes, real or extended family affairs, with contributions from her mother, pianist Margaret Baxtresser, and her husband, bassoonist David Carroll. Flautist Baxtresser savours the sunny Classical interplay in Devienne’s Duo for flute and viola with Philharmonic principal Cynthia Phelps, and shares the Poulenc-influenced material in Madeleine Dring’s Trio for flute, oboe and piano with oboist Joseph Robinson (a former Philharmonic principal) and pianist Pedja Muzijevic. The splendidly shaded performance of Barber’s poignant and chipper Summer Music for wind quintet features Baxtresser and Robinson with more superlative Philharmonic chums.

“In the tradition of wind and brass players who pine for great repertoire, Baxtresser often turns to transcriptions on her “collection of my favourites”. Among the impressive reworkings is Debussy’s Prélude á L’aprés-midi d’un faune for flute and piano, in which Baxtresser radiantly shapes the lyrical material beyond her instrument’s famous phrases. She offers a snazzy version of Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me” and joins the Eric Robertson Trio in a rendition of Claude Bolling’s Suite for flute and jazz trio that strikes my ears as even more irresistible than the original Rampal recording.”
—From “An orchestral principal shows her star quality as she steps up to the front” by Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone, January 2007

“The whole programme is a joy from beginning to end and shows Ms. Baxtresser’s prowess in a diversity of styles…What most of all characterises her playing is balance and aristocracy, which doesn’t exclude intensity and emotion. On the first seven tracks she is partnered by Andrew Davis, who was principal conductor of the Toronto Symphony at the time, [and who] besides being one of his generation’s leading conductors, was also a brilliant pianist and organist! The interplay between these two full-blood musicians is admirable…As an encore Baxtresser, together with her pianist mother, play Two Bits, folk music-inspired pieces by Henry Cowell, who had a special relation to Margaret Baxtresser since he composed a piece for her New York debut. This is a live recording and the applause at the end is well deserved and could just as well concern the whole programme.”—Goran Forsling, MusicWeb International

“MSR Classics’ Jeanne Baxtresser: A Collection of my Favorites is like a gift from the heavens to flute players…Baxtresser has long been established as one of the very best in her field, as principal flute in the New York Philharmonic…Baxtresser’s tone on the flute never wears out one’s ears; it is pure, yet warm and dark.”—David N. Lewis, All Music Guide, 2006

Jeanne Baxtresser—A Collection of my Favorites contains a huge variety of repertoire, much of which I have never heard on a recording before…I was moved nearly to tears by Ms. Baxtresser’s incredibly sensitive and touching performance of ’Nocturne in C-sharp minor’, by Chopin.”—Larry Krantz, Larry Krantz Flute Pages, Oct. 2006

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