The Brazilian Album
Review by Wildy Haskell
James Strauss might not be a name that is highly familiar to classical music fans in the United States, but that’s all about to change. The first Brazilian born flautist to earn a Diplomme de Concertiste from the École Normale de Musique de Paris, Strauss has performed recitals, workshops and with orchestras around the world. Noted as an authentic Latin representative of the French School of Flute by no less than master Jean Pierre Rampal, Strauss plays with a depth and intimacy that will remind you of how beautiful the flute can truly be. While Strauss has concentrated on traditional classical works in his other releases, The Brazilian Album works expose some of the seminal flute works of some of the great classical composers of Brazil. Strauss enlisted the assistance of Israeli Virtuosi, and conductor Ada Pelleg, in recording The Brazilian Album.
It’s not often, in editorial content that a writer concludes with a single word. But “Wow” is the word. James Strauss plays with a composure and presence that is, at first blush, startling. It is perhaps most surprising that Strauss isn’t touring the world on a par with instrumentalists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Vanessa Mae or Itzhak Perlman. He’s already playing on that level. If there is one complaint about the recording of The Brazilian Album, it’s that the album, at present, is only available in MP3 format. The compressed sound is tinny at times, and doesn’t allow listeners to appreciate the full beauty of what Strauss and Israeli Virtuosi have made here. But all of that aside –
Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
Bach is now in
James Strauss, the visiting flutist from Brazil showed fluent mastery of his instrument. With the solo Partita in a minor BWV 1013. More was to come: things started to happen , when the two artists arrived onstage to present their interpretation of the b minor sonata BWV1030. The melodic arches of the slow Largo movement emerged spacious & expressive from Strauss's flute. The somewhat stolid Finale benefited beautifully from pianist's motoric skill.
Keskisuomalainen - Finland
Oxford Chamber Orchestra : An Evining with James Strauss
"The concert was indeed "An Evening with James Strauss," as he was featured in every piece save the first, the Prelude from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4 by Villa-Lobos, played warmly by the OCO strings under the direction of Ricardo Averbach . In the five works that Strauss played with the OCO, he proved himself in excellent control of technique, nuance, and color. The most impressive work of the evening, the Concerto for Violin, Cembalo and Strings by Haydn transcribed for flute, piano, and strings, was elegant and highly polished. Pianist Siok Lian Tan, impeccable in her own performance in style, rhythmic control, and touch, followed Strauss's every move. Averbach and the OCO strings were locked in as well, catching each phrase. It was an excellent performance, and was followed by several encores featuring Tan and Strauss together. The three works that followed the Concertstück, Tchaikovsky's Lensky's Aria from Eugene Onegin , Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee , and Dinicu's Hora staccato, all transcribed and arranged by the soloist, again pointed to his technical and musical prowess, and earned him a standing ovation. His own set of variations on The Carnival of Venice, played acappella, brought the audience to its feet once again.
Miami Student Newspaper
Recording the Brazilian music with you has been one of the most rewarding musical experience I had. Listening to the final CD streng thens the feeling of a major accomplishment.I do not know of any other such endeavor of such high quality recording devoted solely to contemporary music of a single composers group, including so many premiers. Although all participants faced major musical and emotional challenges yours was, no doubt, the most difficult one and I would like to commend you on the extraordinary initiative, preparation and the virtuosic execution. Our intense work has produced a monumental opus of great music, contemporary and international, yet with a strong Brazilian flavor. I feel very honored and fortunate to have taken a part in such an important project and I hope we will be able to draw from our experience together to continue the project.
Ada Pelleg Conductor and Artistic Director of the Haifa Music Center and the Israeli Virtuosi
Tchaikovsky Flute Concerto
I have known James Strauss since the year 2007 but have only the utmost of respect and admiration for his talents and skills. I first met the artistry of Mr. Strauss when I buy the CD with the world premier recording of Tchaikovsky's flute concerto. He played on this CD not only the concerto but also three very beautiful and difficult pieces by the same composer. All the music requires the utmost artistry and skill to perform. And he made it just perfect! Even more - his performance make me to believe that this music is very easy to be played! That's signature of a Master!
Dr. Christo Pavlov ( principal flute of the Philharmonia Bulgarica and Bulgarian National Orchestra)
Finalmente trovo il tempo di scrivere a rispetto della splendida esecuzione del Concerto di Tchaikovsky. Fin dall'inizio ho capito che devo esserti grato per la scoperta di questo gioiello musicale. Ma a parte cio', volevo sottolineare l'ottima qualita' del suono, del tuo flauto come dell'orchestra israeliana. Trovo che l'atmosfera del Concerto e' stata resa molto bene, e tutto e' eseguito in una maniera talmente elegante e piena di buon gusto che chi ascolta puo' rilassarsi e godere la musica di Tchaikovsky. Ho apprezzato anche la misura e l'equilibrio di una cadenza che poteva facilmente diventare una semplice dimostrazione di bravura fine a se stessa e che nella tua registrazione invece, scorre semplicemente e elegantemente.
Grazie per questa registrazione che dovrebbe arricchire qualunque amante della buona musica.
Concert in Oxford
I am pleased to offer words of praise for Brazilian flutist , James Strauss who made his American debut in US this week at Miami University. Mr. Strauss Performed his newky discovered and personally edidet flute concerto by P.I. Tchaikovsky to a full house on our campus and finished his concert with standing ovation. I sat in the last row of the balcony where Mr. Strauss flute projected with absolute easy. He is a singer on the flute with flawless technical prowess and just entonation.Mr. Strauss is a natural performer – as he plays the music demonstrates an air of security and confidence on stage, he has a warm, outgoing personality which makes it easy to him to communicate both with his audience and with people, in general.
Andrea Ridilla Professor of Oboe
Andrea Ridilla Professor of Oboe Miami University
"James Strauss é um otimo flautista, que domina amplamente todos os recursos do seu instrumento, o que o habilita a produzir um som puro, convicente e de muita beleza. Alem desse aspecto propriamente técnico, James Strauss sabe como interpretar as obras com um belo e equilibrado fraseio, alem de respeitar o estilo das mais diversificadas composições "
Osvaldo Lacerda – Compositor
"Um jovem de grande talento, possuidor de ótimas qualidades técnicas e musicais aliadasa uma perseverança e seriedade no trabalho"
Yara Bernette – Pianista
Yara Bernette – Pianista