What appears to be a most innovative idea seems to have been in practice for quite some time after reading the booklet accompanying this disc. It is definitely a most enjoyable project and I must say that these evergreen works translate extremely well to the wind medium, lending them a certain colour and character that could be missed by the full orchestra.
The transcriptions sometimes lop off parts of the originals as is the case in 'L'Italiana in Algeri' and 'La Gazza Ladra'. I thoroughly enjoyed the 'Barbiere' transcription as I thought it brought immense energy and drive with the clarinets a particular joy. 'Otello', 'Tancredi' and 'La Scala di Seta' are also quite ravishing gems in these wind transcriptions.
Lovers of the originals will no doubt prefer the grander and more varied orchestrations that remain classics of the genre but those who are willing to experience a different approach to these wonderful overtures will no doubt warm to these charismatic and undeniably fresh performances by the witty Consortium Classicum.
Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech