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BBC Music Magazine 5 Star Review

March 31, 2015

Anthony Burton


Michala Petri, fondly remembered by many as a child prodigy on the recorder, has formed a duo with the Iranian-born harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani. Their second disc, as its title suggests, consists of music from Esfahani`s adopted country, the UK, and Petri`s native Denmark – nearly all of it written in the later 20th century as part of the recorder revival. The exception is a recent piece by Daniel Kidane Tourbillon, which is named after a component of a watch and moves with mechanical precision before running down at the end. Britain is also represented by Malcolm Arnold`s well-crafted Sonatina of 1953, Gordon Jacob`s fluent Sonatina (and an Encore for Michala exploiting her ability to sing one tune while playing another), and an arrangement of Britten`s unassuming Alphine Suite. The Danish works are Henning Christiansen`s fresh and lively It is Spring, with hints of birdsongs on sopranino recorder, Vagn Holmboe`s Sonata, idiomatically written for both instruments, and Axel Borup-Jørgensen`s Fantasia, mildly modernist in its texture and gestures.
Throughout the programme, well recorded in a Copenhagen Church, Petri plays with immaculate tuning and finger technique, crisp tonguing and well-shaped melodic line; Esfahani matches her with well-judged colours and phrasing. Anthony Burton, April 2015 BBC Music Magazine
Performance 5 Stars
Recording 4 Stars