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Classical Ear (UK)

April 2, 2015

Mark Walker


UK DK – Works for recorder and harpsichord by Arnold, Borup-Jørgensen, Britten, Christiansen, Holmboe, Jacob and Kidane
Michala Petri (recorder), Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)
OUR Recordings 6.220611 (SACD) ****(*)

What at first glance seems like an unlikely pairing with which to play contemporary music turns out to provide a wealth of interesting new sonorities – or rather old sonorities in new and unfamiliar guise. The idea here is to juxtapose Danish and British composers, most of whom have written or arranged works specifically for Michala Petri over the years (the only exception being Britten, whose Alpine Suite was originally written for a recorder trio). As the pair have already established in more traditional baroque repertoire, Petri and Esfahani are not afraid to experiment or push boundaries. Here boundaries are forcibly shoved aside and fascinating new/old sonorities are revealed, notably in the modernism of Daniel Kidane’s restless Tourbillon and Axel Borup-Jørgensen's unabashedly avant-garde Fantasia, where any old-fashioned ideas of soloist and accompanist are entirely abandoned. An album for aficionados, certainly, but one that also shows these instruments need not be treated as museum pieces.
–Mark Walker (Classical Ear, 3 April 2015)