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Flute Music by Dunkel, Moreno, Muskal and Shostakovich

Paul Dunkel, Tony Moreno, Tamar Muskal, Dmitri Shostakovich

Laura Conwesser, alto flute
Rie Schmidt, flute
Tanya Witek, flute and piccolo
Tony Moreno, drums



“Paul Lustig Dunkel is currently Principal Flutist of the New York City Ballet, and is also a composer and arranger; he displays all three of these considerable talents on this disc. He is joined by several outstanding colleagues. The first piece is his transcription for flute of [Shostakovich's] Cello Sonata. Here Dunkel displays his virtuosity as both a skilled arranger and flutist... Mechanofin is a beautiful, lyrical work, perfectly executed by the many colors of Dunkel’s lovely tone...Throughout the disc, one is struck by the tremendous diversity of music written in the last 100 years.”
Kim McCormick, Pan Pipes [August 2017]
“[Dunkel's] piece is amusing.... it is made up of quotations from other music we all have heard, treated in a colorful, lighthearted manner by everything from piccolo down to alto flute. It is pretty amazing how many different tunes Dunkel manages to exploit in 16 minutes of playing around.”
Moore, American Record Guide [January/February 2017]
“there are some very interesting sounds to be found here... [Dunkel’s Quatre Visions pour Quatre Flutistes] is genuinely fascinating. The work definitely gives the lie to the notion that all flutes sound similar and all music for them has a similar character. Dunkel and three colleagues take their flutes through so many sounds, so many techniques, so many emotional ups and downs – from the deeply lyrical to the flat-out funny – that the work needs repeated hearings simply to ferret out all (or at least most) of what it contains and figure out (or try to figure out) how Dunkel obtains the effects that flow with such charm from one measure to the next... Everything here is played very well...”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [November 2016]
“[Paul Lustig Dunkel] is clearly a questing soul, and while the flute repertoire is itself not as limited as some, he thinks nothing of plundering other instruments’ masterpieces for his instrument. [Alive in the Studio] begins with Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata transcribed by Dunkel… The two players clearly are on intimate terms with the score; the slow movement (the Largo) is particularly profound, while the second movement Allegro, taken at a slightly restrained tempo, emerges as almost phantasmagorical. Dunkel’s arrangement is expert: The finale almost sounds as if it is for the authentic instrument. Peter Basquin’s accompaniment is perfectly judged, his touch just right for Shostakovich... Dunkel is wonderfully confident [in Tony Moreno’s Episodes]... very interesting and stimulating... What comes across most strongly is Dunkel’s unfailing enthusiasm, be it as arranger or as performer.”
Colin Clarke, Fanfare [November/December 2016]
Having transcribed Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, I re-cast my net and felt Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata might be successfully performed on flute. Shostakovich must have loved the flute—witness his magnificent symphonic flute solos—but he was another significant twentieth century composer who left us flutists without a major recital piece. The chasm between blown and bowed is vast, but I hope the listener feels the compromises made in this transcription are pleasurable. One may detect “Prokofiev-isms”, but they are a result of the arranger’s pen. This is especially true for the second and fourth movements where techniques idiomatic to the flute—trills, flutters and rapid tonguing—have been exploited.

I have spent several blissful summers at William Kincaid’s flute camp in Maine. I vividly recall the sound of a dozen flutists (all excellent) drilling orchestral excerpts… Andersens, Taffanels and Moyses. The four movements of Quatre Visions are as much an aural memory of those summers as they are a tribute to the great names of our instrument’s heritage. Usually such a work arrives with the caveat “Apologies to…” but I have no contrition. Musicians are always on the hunt for chuckles and I hope my quartet provides a few.

I commissioned Tony Moreno’s Episodes for Flute and Percussion in 2011 and it received its first performance in 2014 at the New York Flute Club. Tony writes: “The first movement, Arayb (Arabic for “nearness”), is based rhythmically, harmonically and melodically on the Fibonacci Sequence. In addition, there are pitch/class sets, hexatonic harmony, rhythmic displacements and note groupings. It is dedicated to my wife, Susan. The second movement is a cadenza for drums alone and leads directly into the finale, Siete (Spanish for “seven”) a study in the meter combinations of seven. It begins with the long/short subdivision of the dotted half-note level, progressing eighth-note, sixteenth-note and thirty-second-note levels. A call and response section leads to a drum cadenza. The melody returns in the last section, incorporating polyrhythms based on sevens—6:7:7, 8:7 and 9:7— and ends with a traditional North Indian Tihai”.

Tamar Muskal came to me for some conducting tips prior to leading one of her works at Yale. Our sessions were a wonderful introduction to her music I have frequently performed. Tamar writes: Mechanofin combines two words: Mechanical and fin (“end”.) The piece opens with a repeated theme in which the performers are instructed to play mechanically. For the next fifteen minutes, the music travels through diverse materials and moods, ending with the initial motive. While some parts of the piece are based on harmony, its rhythms are the significant aspect of the piece. Sof (“end” in Hebrew) is an arrangement of the conclusion of the last song from, Tzafuf Bazug, a song cycle based on David Grossman’s text. Sof is about tragedy that turns into beauty and hope.
[Paul Lustig Dunkel - April 2016]

Paul Lustig Dunkel is currently Principal Flutist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. He demonstrated his musical abilities at the age of eight soon after his mother dragged him kicking and screaming to his first piano lesson. Two years later, at the encouragement of his piano teacher, he took up the flute under the tutelage of Robert Di Domenica. While at Queens College (CUNY), he continued his flute studies with William Kincaid and Samuel Baron and studied piano with Anka Bernstein Landau. Following graduation Dunkel was active in New York City's freelance world while pursuing an advanced degree at Columbia University. He was principal flute of the American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra and Musica Aeterna, as well as a member of Speculum Musicae and the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. He also participated in the Marlboro, Spoleto, Aspen and Stratford music festivals. Dunkel turned his attention to the podium in the 1980s, and has since conducted the American Composers Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Brooklyn Philharmonic and Denver Chamber Orchestra. Now Music Director Emeritus of the Westchester Philharmonic, Dunkel held the position of Music Director of the orchestra since 1983, and commissioned Melinda Wagner's Flute Concerto (winner of the Pulitzer Prize) for their 50th anniversary in 1998.

Peter Basquin won the Montreal International Piano Competition and has made regular appearances at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He has been a soloist with the Boston Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Orchestre symphonique de Québec. He has performed under the batons of Michael Tilson Thomas, Gunther Schuller, Dennis Russell Davies and Paul Lustig Dunkel. Basquin tours with the Aeolian Chamber Players and has been a professor of music at Hunter College (CUNY). He is a faculty-artist member of the Bowdoin International Music Festival and has appeared as the pianist of the American Composers Orchestra. Basquin’s performances can be heard on the Argo, CRI, Peters International, Grenadilla, MSR and New World labels. His principal teachers were William Nelson at Carleton College and Dora Zaslavsky at the Manhattan School of Music.

Laura Conwesser, the associate flute of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, was born and raised in New York City, where she attended New York City public schools and graduated from the Juilliard School. As an active member of the New York freelance community, she is principal flute of the American Symphony Orchestra and the Westchester Philharmonic. Over the years, Laura has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boehm Quintette, Paul Taylor Dance Company and many other musical organizations. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Westchester Philharmonic, American Symphony and Paul Taylor Dance Company. As part of a long term commitment to contemporary music, Laura is an original member of the American Composers Orchestra.

Tony Moreno began piano lessons at age four and drums at ten with Stan Koor. He worked with Elvin Jones privately and at Jazz Interactions with Al Heath, Art Blakey and Freddie Watts. He earned his degree at the Manhattan School of Music after which he freelanced in New York City. He moved to Europe for several years where he was busy touring and recording. He made repeated visits to Oslo, Stockholm, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Madrid and Barcelona. Tony is currently on the faculties of New York University and CCNY/SUNY.

Tamar Muskal graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and dance and Yale University, and continued studies at the City University of New York. She has been awarded many grants and fellowships, including those from Meet The Composer, ASCAP, Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, American Academy of Arts and Letters, American Composers Forum, Fromm Music Foundation and Guggenheim Foundation. Rie Schmidt is the winner of the Artists International Competition and the soloist competition at the Aspen Festival. A graduate of Purchase College in New York, she is a founding member of Flute Force. Schmidt also performs regularly with the New York City Ballet Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic, American Composers orchestra and American Symphony Orchestra. She was featured in Leonard Bernstein's Mass as a flutist/dancer. She also concertizes with her husband, guitarist Benjamin Verdery.

Tanya Witek is a graduate of the University of Calgary and the Juilliard School. She is a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. She performs regularly with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Orchestra of Saint Luke's, New York Philharmonic and New Jersey Symphony. Tanya attended the Marlboro Musical Festival and has toured with Music From Marlboro.
Transcribed for flute and piano by Paul Lustig Dunkel
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Allegro
IV. Allegro

I. La cage des oiseaux
II. In memorium: J.A.
III.La nuit des faunes
IV. Taffanel et Chloe

TONY MORENO (b.1956)
I. Arayb
II. Siete


MSR Classics
Music for Flute and Piano