Click here to return to the main site.

Classical Music Review

Cover Image

Shadow Etchings
New Music for Flute


Composer: Orlando Cela
Label: Ravello Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 February 2018

Shadow Etchings: New Music for Flute sees Orlando Cela demonstrate his ability to navigate complexities of postmodernism in chamber music and the avant-garde with this recording of flute and piccolo treasures for the curious ear...

As someone who can pick up a flute and play a tune on it, I'm strangely torn between loving and loathing this release. It's plus points are that Orlando Cela experiments with different ways to play his instrument; the negative aspect is that more often than not he sounds like someone whose picking up the flute for the first time and is trying to get a tune out of it... and that is not pleasing to the ear.

The album opens with Jean-Patrick Besingrand’s 'Le soupir du roseau dans les bras du vent' in which the flutist explores the unexpected possibilities for creating sound with his instrument. Cela furthers the investigation with 'Winter Variations,' by Lou Bunk (“featuring John Cage”), investigating, too, the possible extremes in lower dynamics.

In Robert Gross’s 'Variations on a Schenker Graph of Gesualdo,' Cela challenges the listener to decipher what is real from what is imagined. Dana Kaufman’s 'Hang Down Your Head,' is the most ethnographic work on the recording, alluding to an ambiguous folk setting. It could be Nebraska; it could be Mars.

Technically interesting, it's not the sort of "music" that I enjoy listening to. There's nothing here that moved me or enriched my musical palette. For the most part it actually annoyed me. One for lovers of the avant-garde.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Digital album
iTunes GB
Digital album
Digital album