Joining me on the album are the very talented Kristin Johnson Dabaghian, pianist, Jessica Davila, soprano, Kristy Chmura, harp, Darren O'Neill, guitar, Gerall Heiser, cello and Steve Markoff, flute, alto flute and Executive Producer.
Works included on the album are by Gary Schocker, Carlos Franzetti, Daniel Dorff, Ron Korb, Dmitriy Varelas, Maurizio Balzola, Astor Piazzolla, Guilio Caccini (Vladimir Vavilov), Domingo Semenzato, Takashi Yoshimatsu, John Playford and Maria-Therese von Paradis.
Some interesting and fun facts about the album include –
We have the first and only recorded version of “Oblivion” by Piazzolla sung in Italian by my wonderful daughter Jessica Davila on this album.
As Ron Korb was writing "Woodland Sonatine" for the album, he was visiting his friend the noted headjoint and flute maker, Goeffrey Ellis who lives near the Redwood Forests of California. Ron was inspired by his walks through the magnificent area playing the wooden headjoints that they were working on together. On the recording of "Woodland Sonatine", my flute partner Steve Markoff and I are playing the wooden headjoints designed by Ron and Goeffrey.
This is my 9th album – and the most personal and dear to my heart. The concept for the album belongs to my Mom. She is my greatest fan and supporter and she is so well loved by our family. It was her concept to gather several of my wonderful musical colleagues, including the luminous soprano, my daughter Jessica Davila, on one album as a celebration of the joy I feel when we are all playing together. My mother and my father both suffer from macular degeneration as did her parents. In dedication to their life journey, a portion of the proceeds of this album will be donated to the Macular Degeneration Research Institute in addition to the Randolph Animal Shelter. With your generosity and giving, we can help eradicate this disease from impairing people's lives and save the lives of beautiful animals as well....
To purchase a CD or individual tracks please visit: https://lazzararadiance.hearnow.com/
The Story of my new CD - "Radiance"
I have dedicated my life to fluting, performing, teaching and expressing my talents to bless and bring beauty to people's lives.
My newest album "Radiance" is intended to celebrate new creation, transformation - to bring out the beauty of your most Radiant Self! The music performed on the album encompasses the vast array of emotions of these aspects of being You! Please scroll down to read my cd reviews below!
The album is a gathering of six of my amazing musical colleagues along with three well known composers who have written beautiful music specifically for my new album. Composers are the Grammy nominated, Canadian flutist and composer Ron Korb, flutist/composer/arranger Dmitriy Varelas from Toronto, and award winning pianist and composer from Italian TV Maurizio Balzola.
"Velvet Waltz" - Takashi Yoshimatsu
REVIEWS on the "RADIANCE CD"
A celebration of spiritual transformation and new creation, flutist Patricia Lazzara commissioned music by Ron Korb, Dmitry Varelas, and Maurizio Balzola to complement a very attractive recital of tuneful, tonal music, much of it written by composers who themselves play the flute. The disc includes several duets, with the flute accompanied by piano, harp, or guitar, but also marginally more complex arrangements, for example, Korb’s Woodland Sonatine. After a subdued piano introduction with a vaguely interesting pentatonic air, two flutes joyously join in and the Chinoiserie (if it wasn’t just my imagination) dissolves. The main body of the work is devoted to a cheerful, buoyant melody that could do double duty in a nostalgic film set in rural America. At least that’s how I pictured it, with the music accompanying an opening aerial panorama, the point of view lazily descending earthwards to gradually reveal the actors. There’s lots to enjoy, from the agile flights of fancy from both flutes to the slower, pensive interlude sans piano that pauses the action before the closing recapitulation. Korb’s A Muse, for solo flute, is a brief (2:33) but dazzling display, with a Classically allusive title that immediately put me in mind of Debussy’s Syrinx. The opening figures possess some of that music’s haunting suggestiveness, even as they recall Peter and the Wolf. The “dazzling” part soon appears, too complex to put easily into words—think of a Jethro Tull’s flutist Ian Anderson in one of his more extravagant solos—followed by an episode with a subtle Japanese tint. I don’t know if there’s a name for the technique employed in this section—it involves much clicking of keys—but somehow Lazzara manages to play both primary notes and ghostly overtones simultaneously. This, plus the muted, breathy atmosphere, made me wonder if the composer was mimicking a shakuhachi.
Dmitry Varelas’s Reflections of Radiance reveals a strong Celtic bent, drone and all. Steve Markoff, the disc’s executive producer and Patricia Lazzara’s student—it’s hard to believe he’s only been playing for four years!—plumbs the heart of the warmly nostalgic melody entrusted to his alto flute. After the theme’s initial statement, the tempo gradually increases and the various instruments join the conversation, with the flute flitting around the alto and the cello restating the melody in its uniquely sonorous way. It’s a lovely piece, strongly evocative of the Scottish Highlands.
Add lyrics and Gary Schocker’s Regrets and Resolutions could easily have been lifted from a musical; a duet for the romantic leads, perhaps. The pleasantly lyrical “A” section segues into a bouncy, rhythmically infectious dialogue for flute and piano. Both principals negotiate the tricky rhythmic shoals hand in glove before the opening tune returns in slower guise as a wistful love song. One more romp through the scampering rhythms of the “B” section, and finis. Takashi Yoshimatsu’s “Aubade,” one of three short pieces originally written for guitar from his collection Tender Toys, has an appealing sweetness, as befits a song in praise of the Dawn. “Portrait of Miss L”’s vaguely Latin melody projects an air of tender melancholy, partially echoed in the minor key moments of the initially major “Velvet Waltz”: Am I dreaming, or is there a trace of My Favorite Things hovering nearby?
Domingo Semenzato’s Divagando is a vivacious South American morceau for flute and guitar, similar to a Villa-Lobos choro: I found it impossible to resist its festive exuberance. Although the CD credits Never Love Thee More to John Playford, it’s more likely that the tune was one of many published by him in the mid-17th century in his Dancing Master editions. No matter, it’s a delightful reminder of the permanently endearing nature of Irish traditional song, idiomatically brought to life by Lazarra and harpist Kristy Chmura. Maria-Theresa von Paradis’s Sicilienne is a well-loved piece embraced by cellists and other instrumentalists in search of a charming encore. Grove contends it is not the work of a contemporary of Mozart but rather “should be put on the same shelf as Pugnani’s Prelude & Allegro (Fritz Kreisler), Albinoni’s Adagio (Remo Ghiazotto), or Caccini’s Ave Maria (Vladimir Vavilov).” As with the Playford and Caccini (see below), save the controversy for the scholars and savor the Italian melodiousness lovingly expressed in Lazzara and Chmura’s sympathetic performance. The third of Radiance’s works of disputed provenance, Giulio Caccini’s Ave Maria has an intriguing history (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ave_Maria_(Vavilov) for additional information), but once again that in no way diminishes its intrinsic appeal. It’s a beautiful work, even if not convincingly dating from the 16th century; it is entrancingly sung by Lazzara’s talented daughter, soprano Jessica Davila, in concert with her mother’s flute and Darren O’Neill’s guitar. (Interestingly, some think the Ave Maria bears a resemblance to Jerome Kern’s All the Things You Are.)
Accompanied by slowly ascending guitar arpeggios, Lazzara’s mesmerizing low-register playing sets the stage for Davila’s thrilling entrance in Piazzolla’s Oblivion. She sings the emotionally charged lyrics—heard here for the first time in an Italian translation, perhaps in a nod to the many Argentineans, like Piazzolla himself, of Italian descent—with heart-rending intensity. Perfectly placed to follow Oblivion, Carlos Franzetti’s Serenata is a lively minor-key tango, dramatic, sultry, and sensual. As in Schocker’s Regrets and Resolutions, pianist Kristin Johnson Dabaghian and Lazzara artfully clarify the music’s subtle twists and turns, hesitations and tempo fluctuations.
Few instruments summon a mysterious atmosphere as convincingly as a flut, and few “personify” flight with such ecstatic facility. Maurizio Balzola’s Adagio e Allegro stunningly capitalizes on both attributes to weave its spell. The sprightly Allegro proves a dancing contrast to the deep, darkly exploratory Adagio, the one movement on the disc that discretely veers towards edgier harmonic implications than the rest of this resolutely tonal program. The memorable flute melody and delicate piano accompaniment of Daniel Dorff’s “Lake Wallenpaupack” offers a peaceful, soothing impression of still waters. Around 5:00 the scene grows more animated—gusts of wind stirring the placid surface, overseen by scudding clouds—with both players sharing a frolic before bidding a tranquil adieu to the idyllic setting. “Lake Kezar” immediately draws the ear with its sonorous low bass notes set against a higher-register chorale, everything resonantly vibrating thanks to Debaghian’s adroit pedaling. Once it appears, the dreamily reverberant flute is sensitively supported by ethereal piano figures until the return of the tolling bass notes—this time in tandem with the flute—that bring this gentle reminiscence to a close. “Salmon Lake” has sweetly flowing opening measures, spiced with extroverted flute outbursts, preceding a frisky dialogue for the closely intertwined instruments that is periodically sprinkled with imitations of chirrupy birds. Chains of energetic triplets, along with swirling patterns perhaps inspired by rushing water, ride the enlivening pulse as the music builds to its happy conclusion and the end of the recital.
"Having done what I could to tempt you to sample the CD’s many delights, it only remains to state the obvious: Patricia Lazzara is a splendid musician whose consummate artistry, together with that of her gifted colleagues, illuminates this radiant release." Robert Schulslaper
Patricia Lazzara is a very good flutist technically, with a superb sense of style. She is a well-rounded artist, who also plays and teaches piano. Most of all, she is an excellent musician, possessing the knack for choosing repertoire that is as moving as it is unexpected. Radiance is her ninth studio album, containing several recording premieres. Lazzara as an interpreter really gets to the heart of the works she selects; I can’t imagine the living composers she performs being any less than delighted with her renditions. Stan Getz said of playing with Benny Goodman that all of B. G.’s tempos were impeccable; the same is true of Lazzara. She also is a skilled judge of the colleagues she has chosen to perform with her on Radiance. None of them are household names, but each makes a salient contribution to the album’s success. Guitarist and arranger Darren O’Neill, for instance, is coordinator of guitar studies at New Jersey’s Montclair State University. He also produces jazz and classical music programs at the Morris County Library, which are models of what a community concert series should be. I have heard O’Neill play in public a number of times, so when I saw his name on the credits for Radiance, I knew I was in for something special. Indeed, Lazzara’s performances here are as moving as any flute playing I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been to concerts by Rampal and Galway. Radiance is everything a self-produced CD should be, a showcase for players and repertoire likely to be ignored by the major labels. It is music-making of a high order, and anything but an ego trip.
Ron Korb’s Woodland Sonatine is an invigorating ramble through the countryside by two flutes and piano.
Lazzara summons up all manner of colors. In Korb’s A Muse, the solo flute makes a gnomic statement about the impenetrability of artistic creation. Dmitriy Varelas’s Reflections of Radiance for flute, alto flute, and cello offers an exploration of spirituality akin to Arvo Pärt, but without the latter’s astringency. A kind of flute and piano delineation of Wordsworth’s “Resolution and Independence” inhabits Gary Schocker’s Regrets and Resolutions, with particularly striking articulation by Lazzara. Takashi Yoshimatsu’s “Velvet Waltz” lets Lazzara and O’Neill seem to dance together—just above the sidewalk. Divagando by Domingo Semenzato allows Lazzara and O’Neill to evoke a Latin breeze fluttering through your hair. John Playford’s "Never Love Thee More" permits flute and harp to tug at your heart strings. The same duo brings one of the repertoire’s old chestnuts, Maria-Theresa von Paradis’s Sicilienne, convincingly to life.
This is followed by O’Neill’s gorgeous arrangement for flute, guitar, and soprano of Guido Caccini’s Ave Maria, with delectably subtle singing by Jessica Davila. O’Neill has arranged Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion for the same ensemble, producing an effect as timeless as the early Italian Baroque. Serenata by Carlos Franzetti for flute and piano blends a tangy dance with some of Carl Nielsen’s archness. Maurizio Balzola’s Adagio e Allegro is an étude-like piece for solo flute that brings out Lazzara’s imaginativeness. Three Lakes by Daniel Dorff is a richly satisfying set of works for flute and piano, reminiscent of Charles Ives’s Three Places in New England. “Lake Wallenpaupack” is an idyll, with the flute behaving like a wood nymph. In “Lake Kezar,” Kristin Johnson Dabaghian surrounds Lazzara with a silken web. “Salmon Lake” is a caprice made up of the splashing of oars on a row boat.
The CD’s sound engineering generally is very good. All the work that went into Radiance by Patricia Lazzara and her colleagues has produced a truly treasurable album. It’s clearly a touchstone for what an artist with a vision can do in creating a disc. Highly recommended. Dave Saemann
This disc’s subtitle is “A celebration of spiritual transformation and new creation,” which might lead one to believe that it is a collection of New Age-y fluff, all “lifestyle” and no substance. Fortunately, Radiance, while not challenging for the listener, has plenty of meat on its bones, and I have no trouble recommending it to anyone who enjoys a nicely done feel-good flute recital.
The packaging includes no information about the music and little information about the performers, including the headliner, Patricia Lazzara herself. She is the lead artist, and one or more of the other artists join her on almost all of the tracks. If you go to her website, however, it fills in some of the gaps. New Jersey-based Lazzara has been performing at least since 1995 (for the Papal visit in Giants Stadium!) and studied at Carnegie Mellon and the Hartt School of Music. She has participated in masterclasses with Jean-Pierre Rampal and coached with Jeanne Baxtresser, among others. She has won several awards—she is, for example, a three-time winner of the Artists International competition in New York City—and has distinguished herself as a soloist in recitals and concertos, as a chamber musician, and as an orchestral musician. Ensembles that she founded include UpTown Flutes and Light Stream Orchestra; she has recorded several CDs with the former ensemble and with other musicians. This is her ninth album.
I enjoyed Radiance because of its variety. From the headnote, you will see that Lazzara has collaborated with six other musicians, including soprano Jessica Davila, who is Lazzara’s daughter. Davila sings the gorgeous Ave Maria by “Caccini,” which apparently was really written by the modern Russian composer Vladimir Vavilov. She also sings a version of Astor Piazzolla’s tango Oblivion, which has been given an Italian text by Angela Tarenzi. The combination of flute, guitar, and soprano might get you thinking about that wonderful old Angel record in which mezzo-soprano Salli Terri was joined by guitarist Laurindo Almeida and flutist Martin Ruderman. Some of the selections on this CD have a similar vibe.
The works by Ron Korb, Dmitry Varelas, and Maurizio Balzola were composed specifically for this CD. Their music ably shows off Lazzara’s talent, and the prevailing mood is relaxed and lyrical. Varelas’s work moves Lazzara to the lower regions of her instrument, where other flutists’ tonal quality sometimes suffers, yet Lazzara is on firm ground here.
This CD can be purchased from Lazzara’s website (patricialazzaraflutist.com) or from cdbaby.com. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a local animal shelter and to the Macular Degeneration Research Institute—both good causes.
"Radiance is not big and important, but it is unarguably lovely, and I have nothing but praise for the performances and for the music itself." Raymond Tuttle
Ron Korb’s Woodland Sonatine features Patricia Lazzara and Steve Markoff, flutes, with Kristin Johnson Dabaghian at the piano. The piece opens with a delicate pianistic description of the quiet beauty of deep woods on a rainy day when mists surround the hiker. Lazzara’s flute enters like a playful wood sprite bringing joy to the forest. The trio plays Korb’s virtuosic music with great fluency. Lazzara then plays Korb’s flute solo, "A Muse", with decorative patterns that lead the listener to imagine a spirit dancing among sunbeams.
For Dmitriy Varelas’s Reflections of Radiance, Lazzara plays her regular concert flute, Steve Markoff harmonizes with an alto flute, and Gerall Heiser provides warm low tones with her cello. The piece describes the glowing radiance of a perfect day spent communing with nature. Gary Schocker’s Regrets and Resolutions is a more serious flute piece that reminds the listener to learn the lessons of the past. Takashi Yoshimatsu’s Tender Toys was recorded by guitarist Shin-Ichi Fukuda and released by Denon Records in 1998. From this composition, we hear three selections played with great finesse by Lazzara and guitarist Darren O'Neill. I particularly loved the haunting tune that portrays Miss L because it shows the delicacy of Lazzara’s exquisite legato. The sprightly Velvet Waltz concludes the selections from Tender Toys with runs that show the flutist’s virtuosity.
Domingo Semenzato’s Divagando (Digressing) is a piece for flute and guitar with which Lazzara and O’Neill take us for a fast ride. Perhaps it is in a vintage car or on a motorcycle; maybe it’s only on a bicycle. No matter, it’s a fun piece. Lazzara and harpist Kristy Chmura play John Playford’s Never Love Thee More with Rennaissance grace and attention to its style. Although she was blind, composer Maria-Teresa Von Paradis, was an excellent keyboard player who studied with Mozart. Lazzara and Chmura play her Sicilienne with filigrees of sound that recall 18th century Vienna.
Jessica Davila, Lazzara’s daughter, has a delightful soprano voice, which can be lyric or dramatic depending on the music at hand. She sings Vavilov’s Ave Maria with warm lyric tones as her voice blends with her mother’s flute and O’Neill’s guitar to offer a prayer to the Virgin. The same three artists perform Astor Piazzola’s dramatic and tearful Oblivion, the words of which are translated on the recording package. Singing with flute and guitar accompaniment, Davila’s vocal colors reflect the drama of the abandoned woman’s tearful and bitter farewell to a man who abused her. Carlos Franzetti’s Serenata provides flutist Lazzara and pianist Dabaghian with a happy tune that describes the beauty of a pleasantly cool evening. It makes me think of sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows. Maurizio Balzola’s Adagio e Allegro is a layered piece that allows the flute to play with many musical colors and show its range. The Allegro gives the impression of birds flitting among the trees of a great forest. In Daniel Dorff’s Three Lakes, Lazzara and Dabaghian play descriptions of three lakes, the first in Pennsylvania and the other two in Maine. The smooth Lake Wallenpaupack is a peaceful place to commune with nature. Fish swim in its depth, occasionally flying into the sunlight above. For Lake Kesar, the piano plays a slow rhythm that mimics water trickling into the lake from a melting waterfall. For Salmon Lake, trees and their shadows paint the picture as flute patterns herald an approaching squall.
All of the artists on this CD: flutists Patricia Lazzara and Steve Markoff, pianist Kristin Johnson Dabaghian, harpist Kristy Chmura, soprano Jessica Davila, guitarist Darren O’Neill, and cellist Gerall Heiser, perform each selection with attention to the composer’s style and considerable virtuosity. The sound is clear and well balanced. I enjoyed playing this recording while crossing the desert between Phoenix and Los Angeles and I know readers will also want to have it for spring and summer trips. ~Maria Nockin / A Chat with flutist Patricia Lazzara
**** Here is a stunning Bergen County newspaper article about Ms. Lazzara and how she is coping
with the COVID-19 as it pertains to her work as a musician!