SCREEContemporary Works for Flute & Piano
Fikret Amirov, Claude Debussy, Frank Martin, Mike Mower, Samuel Zyman
ELENA YARRITU, flute
Gabriel Sanchez, Piano
Solo Debut Recording
"Elena Yárritu has assembled at the very least an interesting program, often a great one. Outstanding items include the Zyman flute sonata and the Martin Ballade (a classic). Samuel Zyman, a Mexican of Jewish family now teaching at Juilliard, contributes a vigorous work, which by rights should become something every flutist should know. Rhythm is its outstanding feature, and the players here attack absolutely together and with complete control... [Frank Martin's piece] is a piece of high drama, all too rare in flute literature. It has the weight of something by Bach... I rolled my eyes when I saw "Claire de lune," even though the arrangement was by Marcel Moyse, a great flutist and a musician of the highest taste. Yárritu won me over, not least because of a lung capacity that might be able to move sailboats. There were phrases that seemed impossibly long, and yet I couldn't tell when or even if she ever took a breath. Further, the reading was one which seemed utterly "natural," perhaps the toughest thing a musician can do. The piece became affecting rather than sentimental, as the composer probably intended, with just the right amount of coolness – a slight frisson in the night breeze. Yárritu gives us different colors for different works. She's nervous and brittle in the Zyman, silvery in the Debussy, and weighty in the Martin. She and pianist Sanchez do best in the best works, possibly because more is at stake. They are uncannily together in the Zyman and Martin."
Steve Schwartz, ClassicalNet - December 2011
"Elena Yárritu and Gabriel Sanchez seem to have decided to introduce the audience to their favorite works. The unconditional affection they feel for this repertoire is immediately evident, and is by itself good reason to buy the disc. But their choice of repertoire—mixing the familiar with the exotic—is so smart and balanced that they could have had the luxury of playing only passably well, and the CD would still be good. But they do much more than that. They are excellent performers who seem to be having a great deal of fun besides. They do not give the impression, for a second, of being on a mission. Rather, they seem to want to share their good times with us. Piano and flute are presented as two very well-defined entities that get along, discuss, talk, menace each other, love each other... overall the balance [of the recording] is pleasing and reflects a generous disposition by both interpreters, who don’t mind leaving center stage to their partner. And the music is the winner, of course... All in all, this CD will please both contemporary music lovers and people who are just starting to be interested in the music of the last two centuries. Warmly recommended."
Laura Rónai, Fanfare - March / April 2010
"Elena Yarritu takes a rigorous approach to her instrument and a primal delight in dangerously fast tempos that take the flute into fearsome, adventurous areas. "
American Record Guide - March/April 2009
"One hears many flute recitals these days, but it is seldom that one gets to experience the kind of consistent polish, excitement, invention and sheer joy... a superior player...an exquisitely fine tone...singing with a most elegant, expressive quality..."
The New York Concert Review
PROGRAM NOTESElena Yarritu has been a guest artist at the National Flute Association Convention, and the Texas Flute Society's Annual Flute Festival in 2007 as winner for the 2006 Myrna Brown Competition. Highlights of Ms. Yarritu's career include a 2003 New York premier of Mike Mower's Sonata No. 3 at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall sponsored by Artists International Presentations and a Merkin Hall debut in 2006 with the Alma Ensemble presenting Samuel Zyman's Sonata for flute and piano. Ms. Yarritu has also performed as a solo recitalist and chamber musician in Europe including France, Scandinavia, The Netherlands and places as far away as Estonia and Moldova. In 2002, Ms. Yarritu was the featured soloist with the National Philharmonic of Moldova in a performance of Mozart's Flute Concerto in D. Ms. Yarritu is also a regular guest lecturer and performer at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Years of devotion educating young musicians has culminated in an annual summer master class for advanced high school and college level students in Saratoga, California. Ms. Yarritu has earned degrees from San Jose State University, Yale University and Stony Brook University. Her former mentors include Jill Felber, Isabelle Chapuis-Starr, Ransom Wilson, Alain Marion and Bart Feller. Elena Yarritu is currently a freelance flutist, teaching and performing in San Diego, California. www.elenayarritu.com Elena Yarritu plays a Sankyo 14K flute
Gabriel Sanchez was a top prize winner in the 1997 Casablanca International Piano Competition in Morocco and is a laureate of other international competitions, including the Marguerite Long in Paris, Gina Bachauer in Salt Lake City, and Paloma O' Shea in Santander (Spain). He has performed throughout the United States in recital and with orchestra, including performances at Pianofest in the Hamptons (New York), with the Dallas Symphony under Kerry-Lynn Wilson and the Irving Symphony under Hector Guzman. In London, he performed at the Royal Academy of Music, in Paris at the Salle Gaveau, in Santander at the Palacio de Festivales, in Casablanca, Morocco at the Salle de l'Office des Changes, and in the Dominican Republic with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional. In Thessaloniki, Greece, he performed a solo recital to benefit Lions Club International. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music under a full scholarship and continued his studies at the University of North Texas under his teacher and mentor, Vladimir Viardo. Mr. Sanchez is also a dedicated educator, having taught piano, music history, and music theory at the celebrated Booker T. Washington High School for the Arts in Dallas from 1996-2003. He continues to teach piano privately in Dallas and is in high demand as an accompanist. He has collaborated with such artists as Jacques Zoon, Alexa Still, Marco Granados, Thomas Robertello, Rolf Smedvig, Ian Clarke and most recently has completed a recording of French music for flute and piano, "Rêver En Couleur" with flutist Lisa Garner Santa on MSR Classics [MS1213].
SAMUEL ZYMAN (b. 1956)
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
FIKRET AMIROV (1922-1984)
FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974)
MIKE MOWER (b.1958)