Gramophone (UK)There can be little doubt that if any recorderplayer has the right to give their CD the title "Virtuoso Baroque", it is Michala Petri.
December 31, 2011
There can be little doubt that if any recorderplayer has the right to give their CD the title "Virtuoso Baroque", it is Michala Petri. Here she proves her fitness by wading into three technique-bending warhorses from the violin repertoire - the Vitali Chaconne, Corelli`s Folia and Tartini`s Dervil`s Trill Sonata- and emerges the other side with scarcely a ruffle. In music both fast and slow her poise remains absolute, thanks to lightning fingerwork, precision tonguing, fautless breath control and unfailing eveness of tone and tuning. There must be few recorderplayers anywhere who can match this, and the cool-handed athleticism is no less impressive in some of the actual wind pieces including here in the form of sonatas by Telemann, Bach, Chedeville and Handel. At its best, the cheer sound of Petri`s playing can shoot a thrill through you like an iced drink on a hot day.
But this, of course, is precisely where the reservations creep in, because for all the attention to detail, stylish command of line and tasteful ornamentation, there are times when the final sparks of excitement and human warmth are missing. The Corelli is disappointingly reserved, the Tartini final lacks dramatic power, and the Pastorale of the Chedeville needs more drowsy atmosphere. Lars Hannibal`s solid but unremarkable accompaniments do not help a great deal. Listen to this CD and you will gape in wonder at Petri`s technical brilliance, but in the end you may find at a deeper level that the music has left you strangely unmoved.
Linsay Kemp, Gramophone January 2012