"Flutist Rebecca Jeffreys, though not well known in this part of the world, has accomplished a great deal as a performer, teacher and music director. She was a founding director and member of Virginia’s Woodbridge Flute Choir, teaches privately in Peperell, Massachusetts near Boston and at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, and performs with guitarist, Mike Loce. On this CD she premieres the work of five contemporary composers, ably accompanied by pianist, Alexander Timofeev. The notes make it clear that Jeffreys has a personal connection with most if not all of the composers. For example, composer Kevin Walker is the owner of the recording studio where the recording was made, and was co-executive producer of the CD with Jeffreys. The CD also makes it apparent that Jeffreys is part of a lively and creative musical circle, from which, I hope, there will be more to come.

Of the five, the works which stood out for me were the second movement of Jeffrey Hoover’s Romantic Sonata – Poems of Light, with its lyrical writing for both instruments, and Walker’s Flute Suite in D Major, a very accomplished piece of work. Adrienne Albert’s Acadian Dreams utilized Cajun music and was a tribute to Jeffreys’ father’s Acadian ancestry. It is encouraging to see evidence like this of a vibrant music culture hidden from view in the United States. May it continue to prosper." ALLAN PULKER The Wholenote

Poems and Dreams Rebecca Jeffreys, fl; Alexander Timofeev, p Jeffreys 0—50 minutes (800-529-1696) Byzantine Dances (2016) by Russell Nadel begins with the pianist inside and out of the piano, and later has him drumming on the lid. It’s an assortment of folk-like and modal cliches without the pejorative meaning. If that sounds impossible, you have to hear the accessible result. Intermezzo is ordinarily the title of a work that goes between, but here it’s a suite of three short pieces by Francis Kayali that I hate to insult and misrepresent by calling them tonal and simple. They’re also thoughtful and worth hearing again. The Romantic Sonata by Jeffrey Hoover, ‘Poems of Light,’ has a great and interesting piano part and unlike many contemporary pieces isn’t terribly difficult. The three-movement work ends simply and quietly. Adrienne Albert’s dance-like and touching Acadian Dreams (2016) ends with a musical visit to New Orleans. Kevin Walker’s Suite in D (1997) is a set of five miniatures that opens with a ballad and closes with a romp that has both neo-baroque and impressionist touches. If it’s eclectic, it’s as enjoyable as the rest. These selections are salon music in the sense that they’re accessible and the kind of music that could be played at home even if you were not paid to do it. I hope high schoolers are introduced to these very enjoyable pieces, which many of them could play. Rebecca Jeffreys has a sound that is is fullbodied and husky. It can whisper or sing like a trumpet. She plays with marvelous phrasing and intelligence. Alexander Timofeev accompanies her superbly with a variety of touch and texture that’s always an apt portrayal of the mood. My gratitude to these artists for introducing me to a program of new works that I enjoyed from beginning to end. GORMAN American Record Guide, May / June 2017

 

 

"Upon listening to Poems and Dreams, a collection of original works superbly performed by flutist Rebecca Jeffreys and pianist Alexander Timofeev, you will be convinced that new music is alive and thriving. Composers Russell Nadel (Phi Gamma, Washington DC Alumni), Jeffrey Hoover (Beta Omega, ACME), Adrienne Albert (Phi Nu, Los Angeles Alumni, ACME), Francis Kayali, and Kevin Walker demonstrate that they are the new representatives of what is contemporary today.

Without question, knowledge and understanding of our great compositional legacy is their guiding light. We readily recognize tools of the trade like imitation, harmonic progressions, catchy rhythmic patterns, and form, with both subtle and obvious cadences. What I wish to emphasize in this review is the emotional essence that characterizes each.

“Byzantine Dances” by Russell Nadel opens with a simple piano bass note and an effective swish of piano strings to introduce a purely melodic theme in the flute. The theme evolves and expands as the instruments’ voices intertwine in fervently passionate exchange; the listener is instantly captured by exotic rhythmic energy. Sumptuous color, modal use, and special effects pervade these mesmerizing dances, causing one to visualize a vibrant Middle Eastern square.

The prelude to “Intermezzo” by Francis Kayali is an extended piano introduction that travels through an array of harmonic locations to welcome pleasant flute meanderings. The nocturne section is beautifully conceived with poignant explorations of melodic and harmonic content and rhythmic variants. The concluding capriccio is driven by a superb mesh of multi- rhythmic figures, including a bass line of boogie-woogie and jazz – quite a virtuosic escapade.

Jeffrey Hoover’s “Romantic Sonata: Poems of Light” in three movements encompasses elements of many stylistic periods. Jeffrey visualizes each stroke of a paintbrush within the musical notes and shares this vision with us. The opening piano statement “Of Light and Shadow” is abundant in catchy rhythm, imitation, and thematic segments that evolve into an interactive conversation with the flute. Trills, fugato, repeated notes, and jazzy harmonies fuse beautifully into unison. “Colors in the Clouds” opens ominously, but soon the piano sets the stage for songful escapades as the wistful flute prances around, prodded on by the pattering piano. Meditative Eastern spiritualism is evoked when the unaccompanied flute trills, creates harmonics, moans and cries in prayer. In “Prism of the Heart,” the piano unfolds a storyline in preparation for the lyrical flute. The music is melodic, ponderous, and rich in harmonic exploration; a heartbeat of life is the driving force. The flute cascades over the entire range of the instrument amid probing chordal piano progressions, concluding in a simple g minor cadence.

“Acadian Dreams” by Adrienne Albert evokes red, white, and blue spirit even though Acadians are descendants of French settlers who migrated to Canada. Truly American, the flute pronouncement calls to mind Paul Revere's important cry to the people, with the piano in open harmony as both continue the thematic statement. We visit ragtime, honky-tonk, and are immersed in American melodies, followed by a beautiful reflective ballad with exploration of harmonic centers both new and familiar, motivating the listener to sing along. In the conclusion of “Acadian Dream” we find ourselves in New Orleans, with an infusion of ragtime, jazz and rock and roll.

Flute Suite in D Major by Kevin Walker is a formidable work of five varied movements. In “Prelude,” the piano offers an opening invitation to the flute, which enters with a phrase (reminiscent of the Prokofiev flute sonata) that expands to an interesting melodic line. “Allegro Trill” is an energetic romp, and “Allegro con moto” is a mesh of imaginative ideas, as an energetic opening leads to strains of a familiar, powerfully enhanced spiritual. "Presto Change-o Rondo” is a busy Bach-like invention with intricate piano activity beneath the melodic flute. The work concludes with a brief reprise of the exposition, throwing in every contrapuntal possibility imaginable and driving on to a grand finale.

Special kudos to Jeffrey Hoover for his beautiful painting of a post-Impressionist landscape on the CD cover. See The Triangle, Winter 2016, page 6, for more about Jeffrey's multi-disciplinary work. SHERRY KLOSS The Triangle

Rebecca Jeffreys is without a doubt a "first call" flutist in any telephone area code.  My collaboration with her on my composition Golden for alto flute and piano was wonderful throughout and has inspired me to write more music for the flute family.  She has a keen imagination for musical possibilities, possessing deep knowledge and experience in both traditional and contemporary performance practices.  One has to admire her exploration and performance experience throughout the entire flute family's instrumentation.  She keeps her word--follows through and stays on schedule--delivering her best.  Engage her and you will be glad you did! -JEFFREY HOOVER, composer and former Director of Integrated Arts, University of Baltimore. 

"Jeffreys and Timofeev’s flute and piano collaboration Poems and Dreams, sparkles with life and dance like qualities.  The happy and outgoing moments are interspersed with absolutely beautiful, poignant and introspective moments. It is a joy hearing the different styles that the different composers have to offer and the stories that they each portray with their own personal flair."  -VANESSA PORTER, professional violinist and recording artist

Join my e-mail list for current events

Stay in Touch!

YouTube -- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUlOPEXdDZh5O1O_LKjRyhQ Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.jeffreys.12 CD Baby -- http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jeffreys

soundcloud.com

SoundCloud -- https://soundcloud.com/rebecca-jeffreys