Here are two releases by the extraordinary Turkish flutist, Sefika Kutluer. I know of no finer player anywhere in the world, and she doesn’t disappoint here.
Kutluer obviously is a very spiritual artist; every note is played with a seriousness of purpose, and her general tone of performance is almost theological, if I may use the term, as if there are great mysteries in a phrase or movement that only those who make the effort will be counted worthy to have the Godlike qualities of the music revealed to them. And with a sumptuous tone like hers, it is no sacrifice on our part to listen to every gorgeous second of it.
On the second CD things only get better.
From the first moment I put this disc in my player, I knew it was going to be a desert island recording. (Not just a best of the year--a given--but a large step up from there.) Everything I said about the first disc goes double here, and Sefika Kutluer plays with an almost infused understanding of the music, her amazing ability to turn long phrases into occasions for tearful joy a constant and endearing quality shared by relatively few artists. I do not gush—the playing is that affecting, and her ability to carry a phrase is simply profound.
I will say that in my experience there has been no more musically striking version to come to my ears in many a year. If you own 20 recordings of these works, it’s time to add 21. The sound is, as if I need to say it, as good as the playing.