August 2005 Convention
San Diego, CA

Flute Quartet: The Portland Flute Quartet and The Boise Flute Quartet

Friday, August 12

The Portland (Oregon) Flute Quartet with Kathryn Brallier, Gary Lewis, LeeAnn Sterling, and Rebecca Olson performed three selections skillfully, and provided interesting background information on each piece and composer. The fast movement of La Caccia (the chase) by Telemann, arranged for flutes by Giovanni Gatti, is an energetic fanfare that heralded the opening of the program. This was followed by the four-movement work, Quatuor de Flutes, Op. 106, by French composer Florent Schmitt (1870–1958), who showed that even in his 70s he was not old fashioned and had a few tricks up his sleeve when he wrote this piece. The final piece, Rondo Capriccioso, was written by Robert Russell Bennett (1894–1981) in one continuous movement containing several sections with different meters and tempi, often with two different meters occurring simultaneously. Bennett aimed to make his mark as a composer, but instead found fame and fortune orchestrating such Broadway musicals such as Oklahoma. Intonation was excellent and the ensemble playing was well executed in this challenging program.

The Portland Flute Quartet: Gary Lewis, Rebecca Olson, LeeAnn Sterling, Kathryn Brallier

The Portland Flute Quartet: Gary Lewis, Rebecca Olson, LeeAnn Sterling, Kathryn Brallier

Next on the program was The Boise Flute Quartet with Melody Garrett, Saesha Senger, Christina Wilson, and Christina Yarnot. Their varied program also utilized alto flute in the ensemble. The programmatic Legends of the Greenwood by Catherine McMichael (b. 1954) was the opening piece. The first movement, “Hiawatha and the West Wind,” sounds somewhat improvisatory with interweaving runs that sound like the wind blowing. The second movement, “Evangeline and Gabriel,” has a lush and romantic melody and is followed by the charming third movement, “Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox, Babe,” with its playful and jaunty character. Next was the pleasant Quartett in three movements in classical style by Joseph Drechsler (1782–1852). Finally, the jazz-inspired Here We Go Again by British composer Mike Mower (b. 1958) ended the program.

—Phyllis Louke