Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev | Friends in Common Time

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Friends in Common Time

by Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev

These compelling new works for flute and piano explore the versatility of the instruments and the creativity of the composers. Some of the works give a nod to traditional 19th century music while others break all boundaries, delivering a sonic experience.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Bagatelle
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
9:28 $0.99
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2. Pastorale
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
3:22 $0.99
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3. Fantasia
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
9:24 $0.99
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4. Senahh
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
10:46 $0.99
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5. Reminiscenza
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
3:25 $0.99
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6. Sonatina for Flute and Piano: I. Allegro animato
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
2:56 $0.99
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7. Sonatina for Flute and Piano: II. Lento elegiac
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
1:39 $0.99
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8. Sonatina for Flute and Piano: III. Allegro assai
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
1:53 $0.99
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9. Winter in the Woods
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
4:53 $0.99
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10. Reverie
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
4:40 $0.99
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11. Petite valse
Rebecca Jeffreys & Alexander Timofeev
2:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Inspired by the recent success of their previous album “Poems and Dreams,” Rebecca and Alexander offer a new collection of original works for flute and piano. “Friends in Common Time,” features composers from Slovakia, France, USA, Norway, Moldova and Germany.

Bagatelle by Francis Kayali: “In French the word “bagatelle” means a “trifle.” It suggests something playful, enjoyable, light, but also of lesser significance. A musical bagatelle would likely be lighter and shorter than a sonata, for instance. It would not have the same depth or seriousness and its structure would be more straight-forward. Presumably, a composer would jot off a bagatelle on the side, when not engaged in the usual diet of large-scale, multi-movement compositions (!) Similarly, performers might save bagatelles as the dessert at the end of a concert comprised of weightier works. There’s something indulgent about a bagatelle.
Despite their modest ambitions, bagatelles can be very successful, with general audiences sometimes appreciating them the most. After all, one of the most famous pieces of classical music, Beethoven’s “Für Elise” is a bagatelle.
My piece adopts a nineteenth century style. Present day composers do not like to do this, because they see originality and innovation as a requirement. ("If you have nothing new to say, then what's the point in saying it?") Some listeners question this as an aesthetic decision. Does it constitute a rejection of what the 20th century has to offer in terms of musical approaches? Does it project a kind of support for the problematic societal values of 19th century society (or those of the 20th century audience that used classical music as a marker of social class)? Doesn’t this kind of music “let the ear lie back in an easy chair,” as Charles Ives decried? By calling this piece “bagatelle,” I seek to acknowledge these questions as valid, while humbly indulging in my fondness for dessert!” -Francis

Fantasia was originally written for clarinet and piano. It transcribes so easily for flute that it feels like it was originally written for it! According Adrienne, there is no particular story behind it but it came to her easily. I think this ease is evident throughout, exemplifying the joy and beauty Adrienne brings to all of her works.

Senahh by Peter Machajdik. Senahh is a beautiful collection of slow moving chords and ascending scales. I asked Peter what Senahh meant and he said it was a word he made up. I love this about his composition. I find the fanciful title lets the listener and the performer determine what the music means to them. When I play this piece or listen to it, it has the power of transport me from my worries and calm me. So I’ve decided for me “Senahh’ means magic.

Reminiscenza by Alexander Timofeev was written specifically for this album. Alexander is a much sought after composer having his works performed through the USA and Moldova. He was recently awarded the "Audience Choice Award and Commission" at the American Composers Orchestra's 2017 Underwood New Music Readings. He is also the winner of the 2016 Richard Weerts Composition Competition and finalist of the 2016 Thailand International Composition Competition. "Reminiscenza (2017) invites the listener to explore one’s forgotten memories. It is a musical journey inspired by a recollection of thoughts, feelings and experiences that live in our memory. From the moment of inception of the initial melodic idea to its full realization in a composition, Reminiscenza’s motive intrigued me as it presented an opportunity for developing a different contemporary feel and sense of time. By featuring the wide range of colors for flute and piano, the piece’s narrative quality, clarity and expressive resources allow the performers and the audience to experience a deeper emotional connection." -Alexander

Sonatina by Peter Kutt has been in hiding for 20 years! Many moons ago a work of music showed up on my front porch. It was sent by a composer in Europe who hoped I might consider premiering it for him. Alas, his timing was poor. I just had given birth and my focus had changed to motherhood. So into my files went his music. Spring ahead 20 years to 2018. I was thumbing though my files and stumbled across his music. Still looking fresh and new. I took it out and played it and was astonished by its beauty and personality! Inspired, I looked up the composer and learned it had not been debuted or recorded in the USA. Within a few months, I had premiered and recorded this little gem. I think you'll be moved by its happy mood, and its relevance to today's need to listen to music that satisfies the soul.

Winter in the Woods. This work was inspired by Kevin’s childhood memories of sitting around a campfire in snowy woods. This work is a collection of layers of sound made by muted piano strings and alto flute. The alto flute was played directly into the open piano which had the pedal depressed, making a haunting resonating sound. From there we captured key clicks, wind noises, percussive articulations and whistles tones all made by the alto flute. The melody was predetermined but played with rhythmic freedom. With any luck, you’ll hear the wind blowing cold powdery snow, limbs breaking, fire crackling and the magic that can arise on a winter day.


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Reviews


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Pat Edmiston

Brilliance on every track
Rebecca Jeffreys has a knack for finding great new music for the flute. I love hearing the work of composers deserving of a larger audience, and this cd delivers a beautiful blend of easy-listening and musical challenge to any listener. I popped this in to listen with a friend visiting, and she immediately responded to the music with, “Oh how relaxing.” We sat and listened very contentedly! Fantasia is a favorite, for me. The flute and piano play magically together, as if both in fun imagination. Glad it was transcribed for flute! And the discovery of Peter Kutt’s Sonatina...What a gem! I hope flutists in the US will follow Rebecca’s lead and program this on recitals and concerts! The whole album is accessibly cutting-edge brilliance!
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Jeffrey Hoover

A PERFORMANCE OF SUBSTANCE AND DEPTH
FRIENDS IN COMMON TIME is a recording that will hold a special place in almost any collection. Recorded in 2017, this album continues the artistic agenda of Rebecca Jeffreys, East Coast flutist, with her seeking to curate and record outstanding new flute works. Her previous album, POEMS AND DREAMS, released in 2016, focused on Romantic and Impressionistic-inspired works by living American composers. Her collaborator, Alexander Timofeev, is a outstanding pianist and composer from Philadelphia. Together Jeffreys and Timofeev have created a remarkable work.

The album opens with “Bagatelle” by New England composer Francis Kayali. French inspired, this work is a marvelous lyrical addition to the flute repertoire, with it's well crafted writing, counterpoint, and keen sense of musical form. The second work “Pastorale” by Tor Brevik of Norway, is an interesting contrast. Brevik employs a hyperchromatic palette for his harmonic progressions with a slightly Stravinskian sensibility in the shaping of the melody. In some ways, it possesses a nocturnal quality while being a pastoralle. The third work, “Fantasia” is by California composer Adrienne Albert. Typical of other works by her, the composition possesses an enthusiasm as it unfolds organically. The solo cadenza for the flute is the peak of this work, emerging naturally from the music that proceeded it. The cadenza is a fine example of writing for the flute, and any composers who wish to write for flute could learn a lot by studying this cadenza. “Senaha for Flute and Piano” by Peter Machajdik, Solvakia, alternates between restful and thoughtful chordal structures and more active linear motion for both the flute and piano. While embracing a Minimalism aesthetic, this work provides yet another style of composition on this recording.

One of my two favorite works is “Reminiscenza” by Alexander Timofeev. This composition reveals the depth of Timofeev's classical conservatory training that he builds upon as a composer. An engaging and creative feature is the compositional dialogue between the flutist and pianist. One notices the fleetness and linear aspect of the piano writing (rather than vertical emphasis often heard in works by other composers), not depending on thick layers of sound to give weight to the composition. Rather, both flute and piano are equals in this work. “Sonatina for Flute and Piano” by Peter Kutt of Germany is a work in three movements, providing a fresh, contemporary and engaging mood for new times using this venerable, traditional genre.

The second favorite work of mine on this album is “Winter in the Woods” for alto flute and prepared piano. In this work, Kevin Walker succeeds in using the darker, more sinuous quality of the solo alto flute along with electronic manipulation of both flute and piano sounds. It is a work that is uses older ideas-- in recording technology and musical performance --in new ways. It's an evocative piece that reveals Asian influences as well as perhaps a sonic portrait of a winter landscape in the woods. As both a composer and recording engineer, Walker tied both of these roles together seamlessly in his composition.

The one traditional piece of repertoire on this album is the last piece “Reverie and Petite Valse” by Andre Caplet. It's beautifully performed,and from a programming standpoint balances the “Bagatelle” by Francis Kayali, the first composition on the recording. When one hears it it's obvious that is was an excellent programming choice to conclude this listening experience.

While the the artistic quality of a performance is the first priority, the craftsmanship and artistry of the recording itself should be acknowledged. This was recorded at Msound Studios in Philadelphia by Kevin Walker, and later mastered by Tom Volpicelli at Masteringhouse. Kevin Walker, himself a composer, has demonstrated keen insight and ability in recording to communicate the emotion of the music and performance. Walker and Volpicelli did the recording and mastering on Rebecca Jeffrey's previous album POEMS AND DREAMS as well.

While some performing artists will release recordings of traditional repertoire, primarily because it enhances their reputation as a performer, it's refreshing to hear new accessible works of the highest quality being recorded because it's music that Jeffreys feels should be shared. As part of the living aspect of music, FRIENDS IN COMMON TIME serves the music loving community in a special way. What I want to know is “what will Jeffreys record next time?” What's the bottom line? Buy the album; you will be glad that you did!

Jeffrey Hoover, Ph.D.
composer and teacher
Sacramento, California
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