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Don Bailey


"...with gratitude for his many contributions...and admiration for his excellent playing.."

Kent Kennan - after a performance of "Night Soliloquy"






Don Bailey, flute

Donald Sulzen, piano
Repertoire includes:  Poulenc's Sonata, L. Boulanger's Nocturne, Ravel's Pièce en Forme de Habanera, Gieseking's Sonatine, Martinu's First Sonata, Hoover's Kokopeli, and Muczynski's Sonata.







The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors
July/August 2005

...a delight from beginning to end...real musical substance...performances are impressive, enjoyable, and satisfying...  Don Bailey boasts a brilliant technique and a bristling sense of excitement.  Donald Sulzen is an adept and vigorous accompanist.  The performance is excellent, highly charged, and exciting.  The Poulenc Sonata is played brilliantly.  The program is leavened by three works of lesser dimensions, each of which is performed beautifully. ~  Walter Simmons

Jeanne Baxtresser (Former Principal Flute, NY Philharmonic):

Dear Don, this is just a short message to congratulate you on your exquisite CD.  I love your playing. You have a beautifully distinctive style for each piece and the remarkable collaboration with your outstanding pianist is apparent with each moment. Your performances are touching and an absolute pleasure to hear. You should be very proud. All best wishes, Jeannie

Sir James Galway (Concert Flutist, Recording Artist):

Don, I can't remember if I wrote to you about your new CD, but it is great. I loved the repertoire too, especially the Gieseking.  This must be a first recording.  It did cross my mind how much study and preparation went into the making of this.

Bärli Nugent (Asst. Dean, Dir. of Chamber Music, The Juilliard School, Flutist Aspen Wind Quintet):

Tribute captivates the listener with a gorgeously effervescent gift of musical gems, played with joy and heartfelt artistry.

Katherine Hoover (Composer/Flutist):

The CD is beautifully played from beginning to end. Kokopeli is just wonderful - you really have the totality of the piece, as well as the inner phrases, contrasts, etc. Excellent!!!  Kokopeli stands out for the reason that we can easily hear your inflections, dynamics, and tone colors.  Both of you are obviously terrific players, and the ensemble is tight. Congratulations all around!

Arthur Houle ( Founder & Director, International Festival for Creative Pianists):
Wow!  I just had to tell you what a GREAT CD "Tribute" is!  Everything about it -- choice of repertory, performances, sound quality, liner notes -- is absolutely top-notch!  You and Don make a terrific team.  Nice blend of well-known with less well-known pieces.  Listening to it transported me to another world -- thoroughly entrancing and convincing, so imaginative, free and expressive!  Also a bit bittersweet, for it reminds me that while Boise is a perfect place to raise my family, it affords me less opportunities to work with people of your caliber.

Rick Rowley (Concert Pianist, Faculty University of Texas at Austin):

I listened to KMFA yesterday and heard your CD! They played the Nocturne by Lili Boulanger and the Poulenc Sonata. It is terrific!! I was most impressed. The recording and more importantly the performances are wonderful. I will be going to your website to order a copy.

Helen Spielman (Performance Anxiety Coach):

"Tribute" is beautiful and interesting.  ...My favorite pieces are the Boulanger Nocturne which is played with the quiet yet lush romanticism it deserves, Ravel's always gorgeous Piece en forme de Habanera, and Martinu's First Sonata, which came through with great joy and energy.  New York City is so lucky to have this great flutist/great person.  We're all lucky that these CDs are available to listen to, learn from, and enjoy.  

This recording pays tribute to the long standing friendship between the performers, to composers of the 20th Century, and to great chamber music.

"Donald Sulzen and I have been friends for more than twenty years. We were both graduate music students at the University of North Texas until we completed our degrees and our careers led us in separate directions – his to Europe, mine throughout the United States. We have never performed together — until now.

Before committing to the recording project, Donald and I asked ourselves whether the music world really needed another CD of flute works already on disc. What could we say that others had not, and how would we go about choosing the repertoire? After much discussion and careful consideration of our musical strengths and interests, we concluded that we could indeed add something of value to the ever growing collection of recorded music.

We chose works composed during the 20th Century.  Not only does each piece stand on its own merit, but we believe the collection as a whole displays a range of compositional style and dramatic diversity that makes for an interesting and enjoyable recording.

Three days before recording the album, we performed the selections to an enthusiastic audience at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich’s Gasteig. A matching concert at The Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City had been canceled with only an hour’s notice due to the power blackout on August 14, 2003. In concert settings, the repertoire proves almost too ambitious — four complete sonatas, plus interludes — but the result is a well-balanced and enjoyable program."

Don Bailey, flute
Arcata String Quartet
plus harp & bass

"Easy listening," yet quality classical music from around the world....

"This disc showcases the talents of New York-based flutist Don Bailey in a smorgasbord of music from around the world, all of it either composed or arranged for flute and strings. Many of the selections, such as the Ravel Sonatine, the Paderewski Minuet or "November" from Tchaikovsky's 'Seasons' originated as piano works. The title track, John Corigliano's 'Voyage,' was in fact written for chorus, but several of the more unusual and interesting items, such as Arthur Foote's 'Night Piece' or Alberto Ginastera's 'Impressiones de la Puna' are heard in their original instrumentation. The entire recital is permeated by a sense of rhythmic relaxation and melodious repose, both in the choice of pieces as well as the gentle manner in which Bailey plays them. As voyages go, this one enjoys a calm sea."   Tower Records

"...impeccably controlled sound... full of artful colors and nuances..exceptional attention to detail…unfailing precision…deceptively free-feeling melodic momentum…fresh and interesting."   American Record Guide

"...a nicely conceived collection covering a broad spectrum. The original works are particularly effective. John Corigliano's Voyage...is immediately involving.  Performances are very fine.  Bailey has a good, solid technique and produces a nice sound...a generous collection with a great deal to enjoy."    Fanfare

Reviews from colleagues . . .

Jeanne Baxtresser (Former Principal Flute, NY Philharmonic):

"…captivating repertoire exquisitely performed by Don Bailey.  This will be a great addition to anyone's CD collection."

Michael Parloff (Principal Flute, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra):

I sat down last night and took your VOYAGE, and a very elegant cruise it was, indeed. Clarity seems to be a hallmark of your playing: tonal, articulative, technical, and conceptual. In short, you sound terrific. Bravo!

Linda Chesis (Manhattan School of Music, concert flutist):

The CD is just wonderful - a real labor of love.  Beautiful music beautifully performed.

Göran Marcusson (Concert flutist/recording artist):

It is excellent!!!! I really do love to hear some other interpretation of those great Swedish pieces.  Good thing you did to change the octave up, you know where I mean... that is what the arranger Jerker Johansson wanted.  I will let him listen to your great playing when I see him next time.

Nadine Asin (Flute/Pic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra):

Your CD is VERY beautiful and I know you will have much success with it...your sound is very Rampalian,..it's fabulous!

Marco Granados (Flutist, Sunflute.com):

Not only is the playing first rate, but the concept of VOYAGE is well thought out, the pieces work well together, the arrangements are beautiful and the overall feeling of this CD is a very pleasing and enjoyable one. I highly recommend it.

Bärli Nugent (Asst. Dean, Dir. of Chamber Music, The Juilliard School, Flutist Aspen Wind Quintet):

It is beautiful.  I think people should be grabbing this up - it is so refreshing to not just hear the same old warhorses done yet again by yet another flute player.  You should be doing lots more recording.

Carol Dale (Flute Professor, University of Mississippi):

Don Bailey has released a CD that showcases a number of lesser-known flute jewels, and the flute world should be grateful to him for it. These pieces are beautiful, and the musicians offer lovely and convincing interpretations. The recording quality is superb, the energy level high, and the flute playing extraordinary. Add this CD to your collection, because it's one you'll listen to again and again.

Trygve Peterson (Former Faculty, Arizona State University):

I am very impressed with VOYAGE.  Excellent recording quality and superb playing.  First rate all the way. The repertoire on the CD is fresh and different, the playing top-notch: I don't see how you can go wrong with this one.

Grace Paradise (Harpist on VOYAGE, Lauryn Hill’s Grammy CD; also Mandy Patinkin's CDs):

Your sound is just wonderful and the pieces were all delightful. The positioning and variety of pieces make for a great program. Great mix job too - I thought the string quartet sounded like a chamber orchestra.

Katherine Hoover (Composer/Flutist):

Don Bailey’s VOYAGE is a truly outstanding CD, with first-rate performances of beautiful music known and unknown. I am proud to be represented on this disc.

Margaret Jacob (Wife of Gordon Jacob, composer):

I just put on 'Four Fancies' to give me a taste of your playing and I was charmed by it.  It is a superb piece played to perfection.  I am so glad you like playing Gordon’s music and sincerely hope you will eventually manage to get the concerto on disc.  I wish you every success in your musical career.  

Helen Spielman (Performance Anxiety Coach)
Voyage, Don's first CD...containing music from around the world (UK, Sweden, Russia, USA, France, Poland, and Argentina), is beautifully packaged and contains illuminating program notes about the music and musicians.  I particularly liked the lovely Four Fancies by Gordon Jacob and W. Peterson-Berger's Frosoblomster, a longtime favorite of mine, which Don performed with sensitivity and elegance. His interpretation of H. Alfven's Herdsmaiden's Dance showed clear articulation and the joyful lightness that the piece requires. I was fascinated by Papillion by Kohler.  I've played and heard this piece for flute and piano, but here Don presents it arranged by Adam Manijak for string accompaniment. This arrangement wasn't any better than for piano, nor worse - just different, a new alternative. I thought it was a creative, innovative endeavor.  I enjoyed list member Katherine Hoover's On the Betrothal of Princess Isabelle of France, Aged 6 Years, especially, as well as the Tschaikowsky, Foote, and Ginastera works included. The Paderewski Minuet in G was another charming arrangement that ends this sophisticated, thoughtful recording.

Don's playing is expressive and he has a clear, pristine tone. His judicious use of vibrato gives him a great variety of tone color. Most of all, I appeciate how Don takes time in the music, never rushing, phrasing with care and musicality.

Chester Biscardi (Composer, faculty Sarah Lawrence College):

The disk is very beautiful.  I like this format of the Corigliano piece, and I particularly love the haunting piece by Katherine Hoover - it feels like the place where the entire disc gravitates.  There are a lot of flute recordings out there, but VOYAGE is one of the few that I’ve enjoyed listening to from start to finish.

Tom Strom (President of the Peterson-Berger Society):

I enjoyed VOYAGE very much.  I will review it for our next Peterson-Berger newsletter. You may be sure I will have nice things to say. I hope you have a lot of success.

From a graduate flute student at an American university:

I have listened to VOYAGE several times as I make my daily trip to the practice rooms in the early hours of the morning.  An absolutely beautiful thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago.  As I was nearing the music building, I looked out across Lake Michigan.  I then looked towards the sky and there were pink and blue clouds stretched about the sun.  I was listening to "Sommarsang" (#6 on your CD) and when I lifted my face upwards, an interval rose with me.  A quietness settled over me that I had not felt in some time.  The remainder of the day I felt a calm presence about me, and the past few weeks have been the most beautiful of the entire year.  I don’t know exactly what came over me or if it will even stay, but I wanted to let you know that a very simple melody triggered a very deep reverie.



"Scherzo" from Muczynski's Sonata for flute and piano
from Tribute (Genuin Musikproduktion Records)

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