Barbara Kortmann


Debut CD 'Inner Lights'

CD-Release: 09. January 2017 worldwide available

Press comments on Barbara Kortmann’s “Inner Lights” CD

A stellar recording:
In the program notes of this lovely, well-conceived recording of Baroque music, Barbara Kortmann explains that each of these pieces have had special meaning in her journey as a student and later as a professional performer, and the care and feeling with which she presents them illustrates the truth of her assertion. Throughout the recording, she expertly balances a modern aesthetic of flute playing with an educated sense of performance practice.
Her tone is rich, clear and flexible, and her clear articulation and excellent technique bring excitement to her music.
The CD contains two of Vivaldi's concerti for flute and strings.
In the first selection, 'Il Cardellino', Kortmann executes the brilliant opening phrase with a lithe and playful spirit that expertly sets the tone for the rest of the work. In the slow movement, her phrasing and control expose the sweetness of the writing. Likewise, her performance  of 'La Notte' provides a fitting framework  for her expressive sense of phrase and her creative ornamentation.
Also included is Marin Marais 'Les Folies d'Espagna', here played with harpsichordist Sabine Erdmann. The selction of variations is excellent, creating a narrative arc of motion through the familiar work. Kortmann's performance is very exciting; again, the balance of speed possible on a modern flute plus the attention to long lines allows for wonderfully energetic tempi. (...)
While each selection is performed well, with grace and attention on style and detail, perhaps the best tracks are the three devoted to J.Seb. Bach's Trio Sonata from 'The Musical Offering', performed with violinist Hellen Weiss. This extremly intricate and complicated work is performed with elegance, thoughtfulness, and affection, and the overall effect is exquisite. The blend between the flute an violin sounds effortless, and all performers capture the necessary dichotomy of simple melodies and rhythmically and harmonically complex textures.
Inner Lights is a stellar recording of much beloved, well-played music. 
Barbara Kortmann's performance is elegant, beautiful, and expressive and a joy to hear.
(Rebecca Dunnavant, NFA, Fall 2017)

From Barbara Siesel, THE FLUTE VIEW, New York, March 2017
“(…)Ms. Kortman is an extraordinary player, whose fluid technique serves her musical mastery and unique, beautiful interpretations. Her performance of the Marais, Les Folies d’Espagne is full of interesting surprises that are musically insightful and sent me running to my score to think about! Each work on the album opened up new ways of thinking about the piece. Take a listen to her ideas in Bach’s Musical Offering and the two Vivaldi Concerto’s ‘Il Cardellino’ and ‘La Notte.' Every work is thought through but spontaneous in interpretation as well. Kortmann is accompanied by an expert group of strings including the excellent Hellen Weiss and Kerstin Linder-Dewan on violins and Sabine Erdmann on harpsichord. The chamber music is seamless and the pitch is perfect! (...)The recording and editing are superb with the sound of a full orchestra achieved with a small string section and perfect balance maintained throughout. I highly recommend this CD!...”

From FONO FORUM, May, 2017:
“(…) Barbara Kortmann (…) presented her baroque programme accompanied by instrumentalists well-versed in this style, but it was in the solo passages on her modern Böhm flute that she revealed a wonderful and highly sensitive musical interpretation. In occupying chamber music’s field of tension between, on the one hand, the melodiousness of solo performance and, on the other, the enormous rhythmic flexibility of accompanying instruments, she makes it fun once again to listen even to evergreen Vivaldi favourites.”

GLOBAL MUSIC AWARDS about Inner Lights: 
This debut album is a delightful collection of music composed by Antonio Vivaldi, Marin Marais, George Frederick Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Kortmann and her ensemble create their very own sound world featuring the virtuosity of this talented flutist. Listening to Kortmann is a rare pleasure because of her natural talent and well-honed performance skills. (September 2017)

From Remy Franck, PIZZICATO, March 12, 2017
“Flowing Virtuosity. (…) Barbara Kortmann seems not merely content to shine with pure virtuosity, she also reaches deep in search of her ‘inner light’. Although the programme does contain racier presto movements, especially impressive was the liveliness she brought to the cantobile as well as the beautifully nurtured, if lively and vibrant, tones (…) both of the hits, ‘Il Gardellino’ and ‘La Notte,’ are a joy for everyone.”

From Edwin Baumgartner, Wiener Zeitung, February 15, 2017:
“Seductive Baroque tones on the flute. … It is a sheer wonder what this Munich-born flutist extracts from the works of Vivaldi, Marais, Handel and Bach: virtuose, exciting; her trilling and runs slicing through the shimmering atmosphere like a silver arrow. The accompaniment by a small group, even for the Vivaldi, was agile. This was virtuose, brilliantly entertaining and, yes, delightful.”

From Martin Grunenberg, Hessischer Rundfunk, January 24, 2017:
“When the flute sings like a bird… Whether Barbara Kortmann with her flute enters a bird song contest together with a violin, or whether she really begins to let her flute sing in two George Friedrich Handel arias, the quality that entrances is the special beauty of her tones. ‘Sweet Silence, Soft Source of Calm Tranquility,’ is how one of Handel’s German arias begins. Tranquility is naturally all the more impressive if juxtaposed against an uproar… it was from this contrast that Marin Marais developed the variations to his renowned Folia theme—and gives Barbara Kortmann the opportunity to impress with her virtuosity.”

“… One happily hears this piece again and again … especially when a musician masters such exquisite tones as Barbara Kortmann does, with all registers sounding complete and clear, and which—as appropriate for the music—she plays with a carefully measured dose of vibrato. It is no wonder that James Galway praised Barbara Kortmann’s ‘flawless technique and expressive tone.’ This is a successful and memorable debut!”

Chamber Music for Flute
Works by A. Vivaldi, M. Marais, J.Seb. Bach, G.F. Händel and C.P.E. Bach

Sabine Erdmann, Harpsichord
Hellen Weiß, Violin (Trio-Sonata from The Musical Offering)
Kerstin Linder-Dewan, Violin
Julia Prigge, Violin
Nikolaus Schlierf, Viola
Inka Döring, Violoncello
Julia Kursawe, Violoncello
Benjamin Wand, Double bass

GEN 17457

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Drei Romanzen, Op. 94 für Flöte und Klavier
1. Romanze: "Nicht schnell"
2. Romanze: "Einfach, innig"
3. Romanze: "Nicht schnell"

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
Tango No 4 für Flöte solo
"Lento meditativo"

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Fantasia in h-moll für Flöte solo
"Largo - Vivace- Largo- Allegro"

Franz Schubert (1797-1828):
Variationen über das Lied 'Trockene Blumen' op. post. 160 D 802
Für Flöte und Klavier
Introduktion - Thema - Variationen 1-6 - Var. 7: Finale, Allegro

Francois Borne (1862-1929)
Fantaisie brillante sur les themes de l'opera "Carmen"
"Allegro moderato"