This recording features the veteran Edward Beckett on the flute and also directing whilst the peerless Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields provide alert and responsive performances throughout.
Each concerto is in three movements and there is nothing much to choose between works as all are quite ravishing and as fresh as a ripe peach on a summer's day! If pressed to choose my favourites, I would definitely single out the 2nd concerto for its lovely Adagio and the exhilarating Allegro that concludes the work in singular fashion. #6 is also very beautiful but in each of the other works, Abel provides one or two intriguing surprises that make the whole experience quite magical.
As I already mentioned, Beckett belies his years and provides a sweet if occasionally rigid tone to the music and he is beautifully accompanied by an in form ASMF. The recorded sound is also quite rounded and full with special emphasis on the woodwind and this makes it preferable to the rather cavernous sounding Chandos issue that is beginning to show its age. An all round recommendation is certainly in order, if you love such baroque music, it is definitely warranted.
Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech