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All Music Guide, US- An unusually satisfying collection of recorder music even for those who think they don't like the recorder.

October 31, 2011

James Manheim

This release by Danish recorder virtuosa Michala Petri has a couple of points of interest for those looking for a fun introduction to the world of Baroque recorder music. The pieces, originally from the closely related repertories of recorder, flute, and violin, are a sort of rogue's gallery of works that were transmitted before Baroque music was commonly played. The Sonata in G major, RV 59, for example, has its Ryom-Verzeichnis catalog number and was long taken as a genuine Vivaldi work; in fact it was an artful forgery by French composer and instrument builder Nicolas Chédeville. The booklet tells the interesting stories of some of these works. But the biggest attraction is the playing of Michala Petri herself. There are lots of young players with inventive ideas in the recorder repertory, but few that could handle the crushing transcription of Tartini's "Devil's Trill" sonata on offer here, and few capable of the mixture of tonal control and musicality that she manages throughout. The accompaniment is provided by the solo archlute of Lars Hannibal, a nice change from the usual keyboards and a richly resonant sound that defines a large musical space when paired with a recorder in its upper reaches. This in turn is captured effectively in the engineering of producer Preben Iwan in the OUR Recordings studio in Copenhagen. An unusually satisfying collection of recorder music even for those who think they don't like the recorder. James Manheim, November 2011