Mary Karen Clardy
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Reviews of Sonatas and Sonatinas Recording

Pan, British Flute Society Journal
Sonatas and Sonatinas

Mary Karen Clardy, flute; Steven Harlos, piano
Encore Performance Recordings EPR-2520

This is a very refreshing mix of lesser-known repertoire, including the world premiere recording of the Sonata Rubata by Steven Harlos, the pianist in the recording.

According to the blurb, the piece is composed in a style reminiscent of the early 20th century, and there is certainly a sunny Gallic atmosphere to the opening, interspersed with moments of darkness leading into the second subject.  Form and tonality are fairly conventional, but none the worse for that.

The following Sonatina pour Flute et Piano en 3 Parties Enchainees (1956) by Jean Rivier is pure delight, and all too short at about 10 minutes'duration.  The 1947 Soatina by M. Camargo Guarnieri is even more energetic and rhythmically inventive, while being even shorter at eight minutes.  The last movement, in particular, makes considerable demandson the technique of the flautist.  Most profound in its exploration of dramatic and emotional extremes seems to be the 1953 Sonatina by Jaap Geraedts, whose Poco Lento second movement seems to deal in the depths of sadness with a desolate solo flute opening.  This was the most convincing piece for me. 

This CD provides a welcome insight into some very worthwhile music, and any flute player planning a recital ought to look i nto these works.  The recording is clear, open and natural, and the playing is refined and accomplished.  There is clearly a good rapport between the players, and the enduring impression is one of a happy and fruitful partnership.

Leslie Sheills

MK Clardy CD Review
Flutetalk, December 2005, Volume 25, No. 4 Classical, Various Composers
Sonatas & Sonatinas Clardy, Harlos (Encore Performance Recordings EPR-2520)

Sadly, the drab gray-and-purplish cover on this CD means most people will pass it by in the CD bin, thereby missing some lovely music beautifully performed. Flutist Mary Karen Clardy and pianist Steven Harlos, both faculty members at the University of North Texas, have assembled a sampler of listener-friendly flute-and-piano works from the 20th century.
And they deliver every bit of it with skill and suppleness. Only one of the works is by a genuine Frenchman, Jean Rivier, but virtually everything here expands upon the liquescent lyricism pioneered by Fauré and Debussy. M. Camargo Guarnieri speaks French, as it were, with a Brazilian accent in the finale of his Sonatina, and Alec Wilder's Sonata No. 1 gently reminds us of his jazz career. The surprise is learning that Mr. Harlos is as unassumingly eloquent a composer as he is a pianist. Recording engineer Ron Meyer gets sumptuous sound in the Mesquite Arts Center. If you don't find the CD in the record store, check his label's Web site:
Scott Cantrell
Dallas Morning News

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Last Updated October, 2009