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Air (Music of Debussy and Takemitsu)

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Customer Reviews

from Amazon

This is the latest CD featuring Yolanda Kondonassis, probably the world's most famous and recorded harpist. She is joined by Joshua Smith on flutes and Cynthia Phelps on viola, along with the chamber orchestra, Oberlin 21. All play like virtuosi. Most of Kondonassis' other albums are more "popular," i.e: gentle music, vaguely new age; a CD of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons transcribed for harp; Christmas Music, etc., but this one, presenting music by Takemitsu and Debussy, is firmly in the serious-chamber-music world. Both composers are "Impressionists," and here they are taken with the coloristic facets of water, air and wind; all of the music on this CD is somehow involved with just such moods. Ms Kondonassis' range of dynamics and shading make this music come to life. Joshua Smith's flute playing is varied, accurate and flavorful and Cynthia Phelps' viola adds warmth. Debussy's Danses sacrée et profane for harp and strings are just that – dances, with good, decorative tunes. In Takemitsu's Air for solo flute, there's no sound save for that of the flute and the air required to play it – it is pure Asian-Western sound, with no "program." The two composers complement each other; where Takemitsu can be somewhat ascetic, Debussy takes off lyrically, but they both aim towards similar ends and get there. The recording is warm and intimate. -- Robert Levine

artistry at its best!

Mr. Smith has been captivating audiences with his phenomonal flute playing for years - this album is an extension of his incredible work. Along with Yolanda Kondonassis and Cynthia Phelps - the three create colors and resonances that will paint this beautiful repertoire in ways you've never seen or heard before. A must have for anyone who loves beautiful music!


As I expected, it is a phenomenal album. I like the repertoire.


Born: 1965 in Norman, OK

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '90s, '00s

American harpist Yolanda Kondonassis is one of the world's most famous players of her instrument. At home in Oklahoma, she turned to music early, starting piano at the age of three. This was a matter of family talent coming down to her; Yolanda's mother was also a pianist and carefully watched her development. On a trip to Chicago at the age of nine, Yolanda saw the window display of the Lyon & Healy music store, one of the world's leading manufacturers of harps. The loveliness of the display appealed...
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Air (Music of Debussy and Takemitsu), Yolanda Kondonassis
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Oct 14, 2008

Customer Ratings