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CD Review

English Recorder Concertos

  • John Gardner: Petite Suite Op. 245
  • John McCabe: Domestic Life
  • Peter Lawson: Songs of the Lesser Twayblade
  • Kenneth Leighton: Concerto Op. 88
  • Philip Lane: Suite Champêtre
  • Wilfrid Mellers: Aubade
  • Robin Milford: Two Pipe Tunes
  • Norman Kay: Mr Pitfield's Pavane
  • Stephen Dodgson: Concerto Chacony
John Turner, recorder
Keith Elcombe, harpsichord
Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland
Academy Sound & Vision White Line CD WHL2143 77m DDD
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This varied collection of concertos follows on from two other discs featuring bassoon and oboe concertos, both very successful releases on the White Line label. Although most of the music here is of fine quality, I'm not sure that many listeners will want to stick out almost 80 minutes of constant bassoon solos interjected with dizzy orchestral accompaniment that seems to be the prerogative of modern English composers. I was enthused by the witty Mellers piece and the Lane Suite is also top drawer quality with Turner playing the solo parts with effortless virtuosity. Still, the final pieces on disc are not very kind on the ear and they do get tiring at times, especially Kay's Pavane that hops and leaps about like a mad dog in a Dartmoor avenue! Most of the music here is reminiscent of the recent 'London Landmarks' disc that was also chock a block full of modern, occasionally weighty compositions. This may sound a trite too debasing, but fans of the instrument will certainly enjoy the disc.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech