Sally Stocks

Stocks-Turner Duo Reviews

Pan Magazine, June 2004

Cantilena: Music by Reinecke, Mathias and Goodall.
Sally Stocks, flute; Paul Turner,piano
Prologue PLG 002

This is one of the most enjoyable flute recital discs I have heard in recent years. Sally Stocks studied with Elena Duran, Christopher Hyde-Smith and Graham Mayger and has formerly been Professor of Flute at New South Wales Conservatoire and Principal Flute with La Orquesta Filharmonica, Gran Canaria. She has the effortless technique one would expect with this sort of pedigree but, more importantly, she also has an open, expressive sound with a lot of character and individuality. She is partnered by Paul Turner, one of this country’s most able and experienced accompanists, and their combined musicianship and obvious rapport result in some very fine playing indeed.

The most well-known of the works presented is Reinecke’s Undine Sonata, in which the programmatic element of the writing is well expressed, with some telling use of rubato in places. William Mathias’s Sonatina is a work which I have always felt needs to be better known, and Sally Stocks makes the most of the almost neo-classical style of the rhythmic outer movements.

The highlight of the disc, however, is a new work – the Sonata by Nicholas Goodall. In three movements (following the usual fast-slow-fast format), this work is just over 30 minutes long. The composer set himself the task of writing a full-scale traditional instrumental sonata which, in his own words, ‘would be of substantial length and incorporate sufficient technical difficulty to stimulate both performer and listener’. In this, I think he has undoubtedly succeeded.

Space prevents a full account of this excellent work, but highlights for me are Sally Stocks’ beautiful sound in the unaccompanied opening of the slow movement and the rhythmic joie de vivre of the finale. The musical language is traditional but with many imaginative melodic and harmonic twists. I really can’t recommend this work highly enough.

Kenneth Bell

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