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One Hundred Roses (works by various composers), Paula Robison, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, David Stahl (released on January 16, 2006)
Framing the title work are flute chestnuts, some more familiar than others. Benjamin Godard's Allegretto is a frothy minute and a half of runs, which whets one's appetite for yet more runs in Cécile Chaminade's op. 107 Concertino. (The latter piece is so popular with flutists that Mrs. Ionarts, who is a flutist and heard me listening to it, called out, "Is that the Chaminade?" The work is simply The Chaminade.) At just over 10 minutes, Charles Griffes's Debussyesque Poem is really not much more substantial than the shorter pieces. Robison's own arrangement of Massenet's Meditation from Thaïs would make a great Romantic addition, in all its cloying glory, to a well-rounded program. Here it gets lost in the treacle. Camille Saint-Saëns's op. 37 Romance is a gentle adagio that is, once again, a pretty piece.
As for One Hundred Roses, Daniel Paget's arrangement of seven serenades and other melodies by Italian composers, you will likely be hearing it on the sound system during your next visit to Olive Garden or a similar bad Italian restaurant. Let me just say that Paula Robison is an extraordinary flutist, a respected teacher, and she performs a lot of challenging music. This recording, however, is a lightweight disappointment. It's all beautifully rendered, with Ms. Robison's silvery, knife-edge tone cutting through brilliantly. However, I cannot help but think of this disc as more appropriate as background music for country club receptions than as serious listening. It is a table of desserts rather than a satisfying meal. Be warned before listening: it's all empty calories.