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"Scene"-English Magazine "- From the dramatic opening of Harvey’s Concerto Incanto through the pastoral meanderings of Jacob’s Suite for Recorder and Strings, this is the music of European myth and history. Recommended.

November 30, 2012

Chris Morgan

English Magazine "Scene"

Early 20th century orchestral and chamber music underwent a transformative process that saw new composing methods emerge to challenge the orthodox strictures of classical masters. But at the same time the monolithic edifi ce of the Western instrumental tradition was starting to splinter, a cultural countercurrent formed. Spurred on by advances in music history, scholarship and recording technology, an effort to revive the sounds of medieval and renaissance Europe was also underway, offering up a curious aural contrast to serialism and atonality. One of the instruments to directly benefi t from this renewed interest was the recorder, which - at one time – was known as the “English fl ute”. Although use of the instrument had fallen out of favor during the classical and romantic musical periods, its smoky yet remarkably robust melodic sound found fans in British composers Richard Harvey, Sir Malcolm Arnold and Gordon Jacob, three men whose works comprise the program of this recent CD release. Performed by incomparable instrumental soloist Michala Petri and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong under the direction of conductor Jean Thorel, these varied pieces demonstrate the range of once-maligned woodwind. From the dramatic opening of Harvey’s Concerto Incanto through the pastoral meanderings of Jacob’s Suite for Recorder and Strings, this is the music of European myth and history. Recommended.
– Chris Morgan