Solo recording Reviews
TAKE WING, premiere american works for solo piccolo, Crystal 713
"Another leading wind soloist takes flight - or in Crystal’s rubric takes wing – in a recital of contemporary American music. Lois Bliss Herbine is flautist with Orchestra 200(1) and is clearly a committed exponent of such music, having commissioned and performed it with a number of ensembles and in a wide variety of media. She’s joined by some able colleagues in a programme that is entertaining and wide ranging." -MusicWeb International Record Review by Jonathan Woolf Click here to read the entire Music Web review.
"Lois Bliss Herbine seems to be saying in each piece, 'Listen to me prove what the piccolo, and this composer, can do!' During the course of this beguiling recital, you will encounter composers with impressively eclectic credentials... Not the least part of this disc's success is the outstanding quality of the artists... Howard J Buss's musical depiction of a flight on a jetliner (no denying the aeronautical connotations of the piccolo's sleek, stratospheric sounds) is a startling tour de force." - The Gramophone Review sub-titled "A high-flying recital which shows that the piccolo can do more than tootle" by Laurence Vittes
"Let's face it: an entire disc of piccolo music isn't as likely to make a splash as a prominent maestro's new Mahler symphony recording or a piano recital from the latest wunderkind. But if you're game for something off the beaten track, Lois Bliss Herbine will provide an engaging hour with her exceptionally well-played program... Her technique and intonation are flawless, and her tone lacks any breathiness or sense of strain even up high, a challenge with her instrument." - Philadelphia Music Makers CD review by Andrew Quint
"(You) will not want to miss this recording...Dedicated to the memory of her teacher, John Krell, this 59-minute C.D. is a testament to his teaching and Herbine's command of the instrument... Herbine makes the piccolo sing, enchant, and mesmerize throughout this recording, which includes several premiere offerings. Tight ensemble playing, excellent intonation" (article ends here) - Flute Talk Magazine Record Review
"An ambitious project presenting the first recordings of a number solo and chamber works for piccolo, this is a generous helping of interesting and varied works for an instrument that has a growing repertory due to the outstanding and tireless work of enthusiastic and talented piccoloists, such as Herbine...Throughout this recording, she plays with a very sweet and singing sound which both blends and contrasts well with her colleagues." - Flute Network Recommends by Jerrold E. Pritchard Click here to read the entire Flute Network review.
"One of my favorite CDs, great player, excellent repertoire, several premiere recordings on this disc, a MUST for every piccolo library. The Dorff and Daugherty are especially well-played."
-- "Piccolo Picks" by Dr. Christine E. Beard, Flute Professor, University of Nebraska Omaha
INverno Azul, BCM+D Records
"And how about the piccolo? It's surprising how rounded, full, and harmonically rich this diminutive instrument can sound when expertly played. (Check out Lois Bliss Herbine's performance of Philadelphia Portraits, a succinct, five-movement work composed for the soloist by Cynthia Folio and included on a chamber music CD entitled Inverno Azul from BCM+D Records.)" - review by Andrew Quint in the April 2016 edition of The Absolute Sound magazine.
"The first was a 2014 CD entitled Inverno Azul (that’s Blue Winter) containing nine chamber works for flutes(s) written by Temple University flutist and composer Cynthia Folio. There’s music for flute alone, one or two flutes and piano—Charles Abramovic is the dependable accompanist—flute quartet/choir and a jazz quintet with flute and trumpet as the “front line.” A high point of the disc is Philadelphia Portraits: A Spiritual Journey, a five-movement work commissioned by Herbine for piccolo and piano. Each movement touches, musically, on the essence of five renowned Philadelphians—composer Vincent Persichetti, jazz great John Coltrane, the singer and civil rights pioneer Marian Anderson, inventor/statesman Benjamin Franklin, and the nation’s best-known seamstress, Betsy Ross. Folio’s miniatures nail the essential character of their subjects to a remarkable degree and Herbine’s robustly expressive and subtly colored performance seals the deal." - Lois Bliss Herbine: Then and Now, Philadelphia Musical Fund Society blog, Posted By Andrew Quint on Jan 5th, 2016
Solo Performance Reviews
"When piccoloist Lois Herbine commissioned "Tweet" as part of her 2011 NFA performance program, composer Daniel Dorff turned to the birdsong outside his window for inspiration. I was able to hear the premiere at the NFA convention in Charlotte, and the performance has influenced this review... Herbine brought the work to life by bringing out different characters within what is, at first glance, a less varied texture, especially in the aforementioned arpeggiated sections. By giving these characters a voice and turning "Tweet" truly into a conversation between birds, the performance was engaging and truly enjoyable, with fluid phrasing and virtuosic technique. Herbine's thoughtful interpretation could help inform anyone preparing the work. Though she took some liberties with tempo not indicated by the composer, the results were excellent. "
- Rebecca Johnson The Flutist Quarterly published music review
Putting her own dynamic range and expression to the test in an evening recital, Lois presented a combined programme of original and transcribed works. In our constant quest for new original material, it was lovely to hear her musical interpretations of the undeservedly forgotten Fantasy by Willard Elliott and Bernard Rogers' Study in company with Joseph Hallman's 2008 Sonata and her excellent rendering of Tilmann Dehnhard's "Wake Up!" . Along with works by Daugherty and Mower were two beautifully phrased borrowings from other instruments: Massenet's Meditation and Maria Theresa von Paradies' Sicilienne.
- International Piccolo Symposium musicality lecture and recital, Nancy Nourse Flute Focus magazine, New Zealand
"The concert on Sunday, July 26, was sold-out, and even ominous weather predictions couldn't keep people away. Scheible called upon Lois Herbine and her piccolo to give a proper divertissement. She was impressive playing "Salterello," by long ago Music Pier orchestra conductor Joseph La Monaca..."
- Ed Wismer, Ocean City Pop's 'Three Tenors' continues tradition of outstanding music, Ocean City Sentinel
"In the Piccolo and other Headliners concert on Saturday afternoon Herbine performed Fantasy by the late Willard Elliot, former principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This eight-minute, one-movement work for piccolo and piano primarily uses the low and middle registers and has the feel of a dreamscape. The soaring runs and quick flourishes contrast with the melody and the final angry, articulated section." - Diane Boyd Schultz, Flute Talk Magazine, "2003 Convention Highlights"
SOLO CD Comments
"Your recording is EXCELLENT! Good music, extremely fine piccolo playing, and good recording quality. Congratulations. It will be good to get it out."
- Peter Christ, President of Crystal Records
"Lois is a great player"
- Brian Levine, President of Dorian Records
"(Your CD) sounds great and your playing is fabulous!"
- American "pop culture" composer Michael Daugherty
"She continues the performance excellence of the Great Philadelphians"
- Leonard Garrison moderator, introduction to the National Flute Association's Piccolo Panel discussion
"The flute solo is fantastic"
- Academy Award winning composer Tan Dun (regarding the flute solo in his Concerto for Pizzicato Piano and Ten Instruments with piano soloist Margaret Leng Tan)
"We've never heard a piccoloist play with so much contrast, both dynamic and tonal"
- The National Symphony Orchestra audition committee
"Your piccolo is ethereal"
- Hollywood conductor William T. Stromberg conducting the back-up orchestra for the YES world tour.
"That's wonderful piccolo playing"
- Vincent Persichetti conducting Persichetti's 7th Symphony
"Any conductor would love having her in his orchestra"
- Donald Peck, Principal flute emeritus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
"Bravissimo, Lois, on both the Daugherty and the Folio! Sherry and I were so delighted--thank you for your magnificent contribution to the 45th NFA convention" - Walfrid Kujala, Solo piccolo emeritus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
From Rebecca Simon, Corresponding Secretary, Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia
Thank you so much for headlining our Flute Fair this year. Your concert and master class were simply amazing. I know that all the students were thrilled to work with you and all the audience members learned so much from watching you teach. It was such a busy day and I didn't get to see many events, but I was really fortunate to be able to catch the end of your master class. You were able to get such quick results to help the student darken her sound.
I only got to see a few minutes of your workshop, but I was happy to see how well attended it was. I know that your presentation was very helpful to everyone.
We also really appreciate your adjudication of our Young Artist Competition. We hope that you enjoyed their performances.
Thanks again for contributing so much to this year's Flute Fair and to the Flute Society as a whole throughout the year. We are truly fortunate to have a performer and teacher like you living in our area.
Sincerely, Rebecca Simon
From Gary White, Music Director of the Philadelphia Sinfonia
I wanted to thank you so much for playing with the orchestra. It was so special on so many levels! It was such fun for us to perform together and brought back so many wonderful memories of our time together at New School, the reunion and our short time together at Pottstown. It was also a fantastic experience for our students to work with you and learn from you in your master class. I have only heard wonderful things about the master class and performance at the Kimmel! So many people told me how much they loved the Vivaldi and had no idea that the piccolo could be played so beautifully. Of course you and I know that, but I am not surprised by this reaction. It is unusual to hear a solo piccolo and to hear a soloist play it so superbly. The phrasing, tone and articulations were wonderful and the largo movement to me was very special. When you did the repeat of the first half and played with that beautiful sotto voce sound, it was quite breath taking. My very best, Gary
From Leone Buyse, Professor of flute at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and solo artist, addressing the audience in Hirsh Hall
"Thank you so much Lois for that beautiful, beautiful recital. It's so refreshing to hear a piccolo recital, isn't it? Especially when it sounds like that."
From Amy Porter, professor of flute at Michigan State University and solo artist
Hi Lois, Thank you for a wonderful class for SEMFA on Sunday and a great piccolo class for U of M yesterday. It was a pleasure hearing you teach and perform!
From Holly Clemans on behalf of the Southeast Michigan Flute Association
Lois, SEMFA would like to thank you for a fabulous class today! Your talk was informational and provided much valuable information, historical content and musical idea for the participants to try. Best of luck to you as you continue your lecture series and presentations.
From Suzanne Wray, President of the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia
Dear Lois, On behalf of the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia, I would like to thank you for your fabulous "Back to the Future" piccolo performance this past weekend. The musical selections you chose were delightful and your collaboration with Charlie was devine.
It was wonderful to have Christine Beard join you one this program, and so kind of her to present a pre-concert lecture on how to choose a piccolo. She is clearly an expert clinician and her handouts were much appreciated.
Thank you also for helping to arrange the piccolo sampling through Phil Unger (and the Flute Center of NY) - this was an added bonus. Overall a wonderful evening!
From John Sall, Artist Director, Music at Abington Concert Series
Dear Lois, Thank you and congratulations on a fine program here last month! I am still hearing from others how much they enjoyed your program and performance.
Your sensitive collaboration with Charles Abramovic was especially impressive. You are so responsive to one another, and you bring such a wide range of color and articulation to your respective instruments that you wove together a seamless tapestry of flute and piano expressions. In the Higdon and the Dorff pieces, in particular, your musical dialog was so free and intuitive that the sense of individual instruments and melodic and accompanying roles was replaced b a fluid conversation of musical ideas. Bravo!
The range of color and tone you express was also a delightful surprise. I enjoyed your rich and velvety sound which is expressive and engaging. However, your ability to express a tender, silvery shimmer and a muscular, stirring espressivo illuminated the surprisingly broad range of the flute in capable hands...
I hope you will be back to perform for us again...Following your successes here, I am very happy to recommend you and your program to others, as well!
With gratitude and best wishes, John Sall