The Flute. You Know You Love It.

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We know how you are. You pretend to love the silky smooth low range of the clarinet, or the mellow roundness of the French Horn. Or you tell your friends you are a "strings person," with an affinity for the rich, soulful tenor of the cello. Or perhaps you publicly confess an admiration for the fleet feet of the piano.

We can see right through you. There's one instrument that you love in secret, behind closed doors, and when you hear the silvery high notes at a symphony orchestra concert, a veritable thrill of delight massages your soul.

Friends, it is time to come clean about your love for the flute. And we're here to help. Anchoring today's show is a monster work for three flutes and orchestra by that venerable old firebrand, Pierre Boulez. His...explosante-fixe sets up a ridiculous hall of mirrors down which the solo flutes must walk—but with a twist. The lead flute is a midi-flute, with almost continuous alteration of the sound. You've never heard the flute this way before, we guarantee it.

Setting this diamond are two small works—a new work for the flute's cousin, the recorder, by Braun, and an astonishingly new version of the Cantilena from Francis Poulenc's Flute Sonata.

The flute. Stop trying to pretend you don't love it.