BBC Music Magazine (UK) "And in following suit Michala Petri makes the music sound entirely at home on her family of instruments, with her bright tone, precise crisp and even tonguing".
February 1, 2020
Yes, Bach´s flute sonatas were written for the fashionable traverse flute, not the recorder. But Bach frequently arranged his own music for a different instrument, sometime changing the key for a better fit. And in following suit Michala Petri makes the music sound entirely at home on her family of instruments, with her bright tone, precise crisp and even tonguing. Her playing is marred only by a lack of dynamic variation, which for example flattens out the double echoes in the final of the E minor Sonata (Transposed from G minor) There are, however, relaxations of tempo which help to sharpe the longer movements into paragraphs – though the huge pull-ups at final cadences seem a bit overdone.
More problematic is the balance between the parts – presumable as created by the players, but not rectified by the production team. In the three sonatas with obligato (fully written out) keyboard parts, Hille Perl´s viola da gamba, sustaining a smooth legato bass line, obscures harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani´s right hand, which ought to be equal to the recorder in the mix. This improves when the bass notes are staccato or plucked, but it´s only when the gamba rests altogether for the Presto three-part fugue in the B minor Sonata that the ideal balance emerges. There´s not the same problem in the continuo-accompanied sonatas, in which the bass line is central:but even those I´d like to hear more what the always interesting Esfahani´ is contributing.