This Invisible World - Music for Flute and Piano
As a musician, I have always deeply admired visually impaired people. My initial fascination centered on their highly sensitized and refined sense of hearing, which is so crucial to their day-to-day survival and should be a total revelation to any serious musician. But my respect goes far beyond their hearing skills…into their inner world – a world of determination, resilience, courage and deep sensitivity.
This Invisible World is inspired by the blind…but dedicated to the world within us all…the world that defines our deeper reality, which remains elusively invisible to the eye. I plan to use this recording as a catalyst for a Towards Humanity initiative supporting the blind and raising awareness about their challenges and achievements.
I hope you enjoy this double-cd release. The first CD features romantic and impressionistic music, while the second cd consists of works that have been written for me over the last years, including a work of my own.
Mélanie Hélène Bonis (1858–1937) studied at the Paris Conservatory along with Claude Debussy. Her impress ionic sonata takes us to a garden where waterfalls cascade in the sun. Dragonflies beat their lacy wings in the shadows where roses flaunt their pink and red petals. Bonis’s enchanting music holds the listener in thrall as it mounts to a crescendo that leads to an energetic scherzo and an aria-like adagio. Hindemith wrote his sonata in 1936 at a point where the Nazi regime was prohibiting the performance of works by composers who disagreed with the party’s politics. Boustany and Szram play it passionately with the air of desperation that must have pervaded in Hindemith’s mind at that time. On the second CD the works are shorter and all but one more modern. Boustany commissioned flutist and composer Carl Witt to write This Invisible World because both men became interested in the ability of the blind to discover inner meanings that might be invisible to the sighted world. Witt’s piece evokes the aura of unseen beauty and creates textures that must be heard to be felt. Boustany and Szram play it with clear tomes and controlled energy. I enjoyed the combination of exquisitely played works on this disc and think readers will want to own it. Fanfare Magazine-March-April 2017
"... Boustany uses a beautiful sound, expressive playing, and masterfully applied vibrato to draw the listener into what is, quite frankly, an excellent piece of music...Boustany’s playing is colorful and enticing, spinning out phrases convincingly. In the lyrical as well as rhythmic moments, Boustany makes musical choices that mesh well with the writing for strings... the disc shines..." The Flutist Quarterly
"...The rapport between those two artists and their commitment to raising music making to a new level is immediately evident. These are outstanding performances. I thoroughly enjoyed the cd and recommend it to all lovers of flute music...." Robert Brown - South Australian Flute Society Review
"The charismatic flutist Wissam Boustany has been enjoyed in live concertizing. His recitals and recordings bear an additional political/humanitarian charge in terms of his charitable work, Towards Humanity, which figures on his liner notes; a proportion of his CD sales is directed to SOS Children's Villages UK. Of several CDs released in 2011 by Nimbus Alliance, two will be of particular interest to our readers.
The recital with pianist Stefan Warzyinski of contemporary flute music has good accounts of Frank Martin's Ballade, "a miniature concerto",, and of Martinu's First Sonata, also arrangements for flute of some of Bartok's Chants populaires tristes. The latest recordings, a double CD with Aleks Szram ... celebrating also the highly sensitized inner world of the visually impaired, is a marvellous recital, the first half 'romantic and impressionistic', the other generally darker, from an "unbearably sad Elegy" by Yevhen Stankovych, through Boustany's own "... and the wind whispers", seeking "to make a statement about our fractured world", to Khoury's overwhelmingly dark "Aprés Un Rêve", about "disillusionment after euphoria"... Very special; recommended unreservedly." Peter Grahame Woolf musical-pointers.co.uk
Wissam Boustany is one of the most committed flautists in the world today. Through his organization ‘Towards Humanity’ he supports worldwide projects where music can play a positive role in conflict. The title refers to the inner world of the blind and visually impaired, which is so powerful and energetic for Boustany. This tapestry of love, compassion, music, conflict, peace and war is reflected in the double CD. On the first CD begins with the beautiful and loving music of Bonis and Jongen, but the Hindemith is a grim prelude to WWII. The second CD is getting grimmer and darker, starting with the still fairly lighthearted title track of Carl Witt. Boustany himself wrote a work, "... And The Wind Whispered ..." The wind can cross borders without anyone asking for his identity card or passport. The CD gets greyer and blacker, until it suddenly ends with the sweet melody of Sibelius' "Scaramouche". The powerful personality of Boustany is constantly audible in every imaginable emotion. That here and there are some inaccuracies seems to strike me as 'part of the game’. FLUIT (translation)
The Romantic portion of the album features enjoyable music played with facility and affectionate grace. Wind Whispered, is a technical tour de force, and one of the best musical depictions of wind I've ever heard. Boustany and pianist Aleksander Szram are well-matched, perfectly attuned. Performed without scores, their interpretations have an aura of freedom and improvisation. The music they've chosen has enormous emotional and technical range. The older pieces are delightful and unhackneyed, the newer ones serious in intent and well worth hearing. This is an unusual and highly recommended release. Ron Bierman- Daily Classical Music August 2012