Linda Bento-Rei Performances and other news: Flute and Harp with Ann Hobson-Pilot, Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 5:00 PM; Newly Released CD “Invocation”: Music of:Peter Schickele, Spring Serenande for flute and Piano; Leos Janacek, Mladi for woodwind sextet; Andre Jolivet, Chant de Linos for flute, string trio and harp; Mike Mower, Sonata Latino for flute, piano, rhythm section and three Latin percussionists

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 “….her ability to connect with the audience was extraordinary!” – Friends of Artist Series
Flute and Harp with Ann Hobson-Pilot
Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 5:00 PM
Pine Shores Presbyterian Church
6135 Beechwood Ave, Sarasota, FL 34231
Marcello, Sonata in F Major
Albeniz, En la Alhambra & Malaguena
Jongen, Danse Lente
Scott, Sonata for flute and harp
Ibert, Entr’Acte
Saint Saens, Romance
Bokulic, We Will Meet Again Someday & Ballet
Piazzolla, Histoire du Tango
Principal Flute with The Venice Symphony Orchestra
Friday, November 20, 2015 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 3:30 PM
Friday, December 18, 2015 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 3:30 & 7:30 PM
Friday, January 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 3:30 PM
Friday, February 12, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 3:30 & 7:30 PM
Friday, March 25, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 3:30 PM
Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 8:00 PM
(State College of Florida)
Friday, April 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 3:30 & 7:30 PM
Friday, April 29, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 3:30 & 7:30 PM
Venice Performance Arts Center
1 Indian Ave, Venice, FL 34285
(941) 488-6726
Guest Artist in Percussion Concert
Monday, January 4, 2016 at 7:30 PM
First Congregational Church of Christ
1031 S Euclid Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237
(941) 953-7044
Assobio a Jato, Villa-Lobos
Nemesis, Andy Scott
Flute and Piano Concert with Vytas Baksys
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 7:30 PM with guest artist Andrea Bonsignore, oboe
First Congregational Church of Christ
1031 S Euclid Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237
(941) 953-7044
Newly Released CD “Invocation”
Music of:
Peter Schickele, Spring Serenande for flute and Piano
Leos Janacek, Mladi for woodwind sextet
Andre Jolivet, Chant de Linos for flute, string trio and harp
Mike Mower, Sonata Latino for flute, piano, rhythm section and three Latin percussionists
Available on
Two reviews:
“…….The most striking observation of this CD is the ensemble work, which is exemplary and flawless throughout. Special mention must be made of the extraordinary playing of pianist Vytas Baksys, which is accurately supportive in the Schickele and rhythmically authentic in the complex salsa underpinnings of the Mower.

This is an absolutely outstanding recording. The excellences one looks for in flute playing are here. Ms. Bento-Rei’s intonation is impeccable, as is her articulation. She performs passages of dazzling virtuosity, especially in the Schickele, in addition to other virtues which are beyond the expected. Her flute sound in strong passages is as rich and full as I’ve heard on that instrument, while in softer passages, especially in the Janacek, it has a beautiful delicacy. Her playing has, when necessary, a quite extraordinary authority, often of a degree which one more commonly finds in a lead trumpet. And none of this comes at a price: there are, to my ear, no moments of compromise, no places where, for example, emotion is sacrificed for mechanical precision, or sound for speed. The playing throughout has great integrity: all its virtues are in the service of a larger musicality.”
– Harry Schroeder, Music Critic, Key West, Florida
“…….Linda Bento-Rei’s newest recording, “Invocation”, grabs the attention right away with its booklet’s cover art: a woman’s face elaborately painted in black, white, and red, at once primitive and sophisticated. The recording brings together some wonderfully diverse flute chamber works of 20th and 21st century composers. Lovers of classical music as well as jazz aficionados will find much to enjoy here. Perhaps the single most impressive aspect of the recording is the phenomenal sense of rhythm of Bento-Rei and her colleagues; they achieve a degree of musical symbiosis rarely heard.

The fresh opening is the Spring Serenade for flute and piano by Peter Schickele (b. 1935), who might be called a victim of his own success. His “discovered composer” P. D. Q. Bach has been such a popular parody of Baroque- and Classical-period music that relatively few listeners are aware of Schickele’s serious compositions. Bento-Rei and pianist Vytas Baksys create a bewitching atmosphere in the Serenade’s first movement, Invocation, the flute beginning rhythmically independent of the piano and in the distance (offstage in a live performance), but gradually approaching and ultimately coordinating phrases. With its unpredictable rhythmic twists and turns, the brief Pastorale evokes a pair of youngsters playing catch-me-if-you-can. The scherzo, aptly named Whirlwind Waltz, features breathless chains of triplets but also alternating “trio sections” of a lovely melancholy. The performers’ synergy is impressive through the many irregular rhythms and changes of tempo. The slow movement, Song, is notable for its spare textures: Baksys opens alone with two voices moving in contrary motion, Bento-Rei joins with a simple but haunting tune, and finally we return to the two voices again but with the flute supplying one of them this time, without vibrato. The virtuoso Finale is (to use a retro phrase) a gas, mostly jazz, featuring long runs–flute and piano in octaves–that double back on themselves, boogie-woogie piano left-hand, more reflective sections, and bluesy figures tossed back and forth antiphonally. Bento-Rei and Baksys have themselves a grand time, and their immaculate ensemble is truly astounding.
In Mladi(“Youth”), by Leos Janacek (1854-1928), Bento-Rei is an equal partner (perhaps “first among equals”) with five other accomplished wind players: Andrea Bonsignore, oboe; Rane Moore, clarinet; Nicholas Rubenstein, horn; Patricia Yee, bassoon; and Gary Gorczyca, bass clarinet. The players vividly capture Janácek’s portrait in the first movement of  the unrest and confusion of his adolescence but also the excitement of the possibilities appearing before him. The second movement, Andante sostenuto, immediately catches the ear with its unusual combination of bassoon and bass clarinet playing in unison. Though the preponderance of the movement is introspective, it rises to several climaxes; through wide-ranging changes of tempo, dynamics and mood, the musicians’ ensemble and balance is exemplary. In the mischievous scherzo, Bento-Rei exchanges her flute for a mischievous piccolo, though as in the preceding Schickele work, interspersed are multiple, more contemplative “trio sections”, in which Bonsignore, Bento-Rei, and Rubenstein offer handsome solos. The final movement is largely an elaboration of the material of the first, patterned on the speech rhythms in the Moravian tongue of “youth, golden youth”, adding perhaps a bit more technical brilliance. Again, in music with a plethora of moods, tempi, and dynamics, these six players achieve wizardry without a conductor.
The Chant de Linos of André Jolivet (1905-1974) was first written for flute and piano as a competition piece for the Paris Conservatoire but is perhaps better known in Jolivet’s transcription for flute, harp, and string trio. It is this rather more colorful version performed here by Bento-Rei; Ann Hobson-Pilot, harp; Miguel Pérez-Espejo, violin; Nathaniel Farny, viola; and Michael Curry, cello. There are a number of conflicting Greek myths concerning Linus, but most accepted that he was a musician of outstanding talent; in some accounts he is the son of Apollo, the god of music, by a mortal woman. The term ailinon meant a harvest song lamenting the “death of the year” but was possibly derived from ai Linon (“alas for Linus”) since, in many of the stories, Linus died young. The Chant follows this tradition of funeral lament in the Mediterranean cathartic manner, including wild cries of lamentation and even dancing. One might say it is the musical equivalent of the CD’s cover art: sophisticated and primitive at the same time. The work makes extravagant demands on the flutist, but Bento-Rei takes it in stride, using the technical display for musical purposes. These superb instrumentalists take the listener on an exotic and emotional journey, with grief rising to a climax, falling back for a time, then rising to another peak, subsiding again, and so on. Very free cadenzas alternate with strict dance rhythms, and as before, the players’ flawless ensemble impresses mightily.
While Chant de Linos ends brightly, its overall emotional intensity is undeniable. It was a wise choice to end the program with a light, airy, even fun piece: Sonata Latino by Mike Mower (b. 1958). The genre of classical-jazz fusion for flute, piano, et al., goes back at least as far as the 1970s with Claude Bolling’s pieces for Jean-Pierre Rampal, and Mower’s contribution is of comparable quality–with a Latin accent. Sonata Latino exists in several instrumental configurations; “Invocation” gives us a medium version with Bento-Rei; Vytas Baksys, piano; Fernando Huergo, bass; Robert Tamagni, drum-set; and Ricardo Monzon, Mikael Ringquist, and Marcus Santos, Latin percussion. Bento-Rei and Baksys convey Latin flavor authoritatively, undoubtedly assisted by Latin percussionists. Each of the work’s three movements incorporates the musical style of a different country. The opening Salsa montunate, using Cuban salsa and son montunato (mountain song),has irrepressible energy and the spontaneity of a jazz improvisation–until we hear both flute and piano play the same brilliant and complex runs in octaves and are reminded this is a through-composed piece. The second movement, Rumbango, mixing Argentine tango and Colombian rumba rhythms, begins with a flute solo, soon joined by the piano; with their colorful playing Bento-Rei and Baksys facilitate fantasy. Thereafter, Baksys initiates the strict but sensuous beat of the tango, and soon Bento-Rei joins, adding melodic interest and flourishes. A brief, lyrical central section brings back the percussion instruments and is characterized by delicious syncopations and harmonies. With the return of the tango, flute and piano build to a climax where Baksys supplies percussion with fortissimo tone clusters at the bottom of the keyboard; a sly pianissimo tag supplies the final cadence. The regular percussionists and bass return in the final movement, Bossa merengova, which incorporates the Brazilian bossa nova as well as the merengue of Venezuela and Colombia. Despite its complex, continually syncopated rhythms, this brilliant and energetic performance always feels like an “invitation to the dance”.
“Invocation” is an apt title for a program that invokes individual things–spring, youth, a recently deceased loved one, and Latin dance styles–but also diversity generally. Linda Bento-Rei, as central performer, demonstrates the enormous versatility that this demands. She and her excellent colleagues show most enjoyably that variety is the spice of life.” – Geoff Wieting, Boston Music Intelligencer


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