Musical Pointers:(UK) This is possibly the best of Michala Petri's many recordings, especially so for British collectors.
Peter Grahame Woolf
Jacob, G: Suite for Recorder and Strings
Arnold: Recorder Concerto, Op. 133
Harvey, R: Concerto Incantato
Michala Petri (recorders)
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong/Jean Thorel
OUR Recordings: 6220606
This is possibly the best of Michala Petri's many recordings, especially so for British collectors. There is something to be said for playing them in chronological order as listed above.
Gordon Jacob (1895-1984), a highly respected composer with many commissions for recorder, was prominent during the Dolmetsch era, when I was learning to play the recorder with Walter Bergmann. This Suite, in seven short movements, is one of the best of them.
Malcom Arnold's late concerto for Michala Petri (1988) is more searching, with changing moods and some acerbity - an important addition to the Arnold discography with has been celebrated by Musical Pointers.
For many of our readers, Richard Harvey's major offering (near 30 mins) will be the big surprise.
A highly successful composer of music for movies and TV, he is too a recorder player, and this ebullient concerto for Hong Kong (2009) is lavishly conceived and spiced with references to the Chinese xiao and North American flute. Quick switching between recorders of various sizes is called for, and this major addition to the repertoire deserves much wider exposure.
I leave the best to last.
The production of this CD is exemplary. There are five distinctive portrait photos of Petri by Tom Barnard (one cunningly hidden behind the booklet) and others of her in action; collages with Stonehenge and English countryside in the Peak District, together with superb photos of the world premiere concert in Hong Kong and of the orchestra holding up the traffic!
With overall production by Lars Hannibal and artwork etc by Charlotte E.Z.B.Petersen this is a model booklet, a collector's piece - rather as have latterly become some covers for old vinyl discs, now in vogue with collectors.
All that is missing from the CD is a recording of the "duo encore" for recorders given by Michala and Richard Harvey at the Hong Kong premiere - but no worry, it is here on YouTube for your delectation.
Peter Grahame Woolf,- March 2012