The elegant combination of the flute and harp is one that tends to strike many composers' fancies.
Tuesday night at the OAS Hall of the Americas, flutist Oscar Piluso and harpist Romy De Piaggi gave a pleasant recital that ran the gamut from the classical to the avant-garde.
Piluso's somewhat shallow tone was a detriment in Nino Rota's Sonata and the Serenata No. 10 by Vincent Persichetti, where flashes of compositional inspiration were coupled with long stretches of indifference that a more lush tone would have covered.
The frothy Sonata in D by Leonardo Vinci, however, was delightfully played. "Mountain Impressions" by Ginastera invoked images of the pampas with its haunting melodies, especially the rhapsodically beautiful first movement cadenza.
The "Aria Variata" for flute solo by Mercadante, sumptuously played by Piluso, recalled the early 19th-century bel canto composers in its richly ornamental writing.
The two, both possessing top-notch techniques, came into their own in the two modern works.
The excellently played, disquieting "Ghost of Orfeo," by Gerardo Gandini, and the premiere performance of the compelling "Il Vento Girando fra le Corde," by Salvador Ranieri, which featured gossamer aeolian harp effects, were fascinating in their inventiveness and scope.