Movements

Movements

by Michala Petri
     
 

To get a canary to stop singing, you put a blanket over its cage; the recorder family was a whole group of instruments that had the proverbial blanket thrown over it from the time the transverse flute appeared in about 1720 until Arnold Dolmetsch built his first good recorder in 1919. Two hundred years of sleep is a long time, and the recorder's long eclipse certainly… See more details below

Overview

To get a canary to stop singing, you put a blanket over its cage; the recorder family was a whole group of instruments that had the proverbial blanket thrown over it from the time the transverse flute appeared in about 1720 until Arnold Dolmetsch built his first good recorder in 1919. Two hundred years of sleep is a long time, and the recorder's long eclipse certainly hasn't aided it in the development of a sizeable concerto repertoire, especially as the recorder disappeared just as the very idea of a solo concerto became common. Arch recorder virtuoso Michala Petri is helping rectify this situation through commissioning contemporary composers to fill in the gap, and thus gain pace on the recorder's arch-enemy, the flute. Her Our Recordings release, Movements, is an outstanding example of the very good work Petri has done on behalf of the instrument. These are three very different concerti penned by three very carefully chosen composers; what they have in common is that they can create music that is solid and dynamic, yet is neither so sycophantic to the audience that it seems nostalgic nor so academic and dry as to seem forbidding and cold. Spanish composer Joan Albert Amargós has stepped up to the plate and hit a home run with his "Northern Concerto" (2005), it is dramatic, bold, and exciting with plenty of appealing, even lush, musical passages -- among "northern" concertos, Amargós' is perhaps the most tropical sounding ever. Swedish composer Daniel Börtz's "Pipes and Bells" (2002) is made of somewhat tougher stuff, but is no more alienating than what one might encounter in a typical horror movie soundtrack; "Pipes and Bells" maintains an excellent sense of dramatic form and employs the widest range of instrumental effects here. Anyone can blow multiphonics on a recorder and torture the household pets; Michala Petri can blow multiphonics on a recorder and almost make it sound like a clarinet, a sound the flute simply cannot assimilate -- remember George Antheil's dictum that "the flute is like a virgin, whereas the clarinet is like an experienced hooker." Petri can morph the sound of her recorders to approximate these two poles and most things in between. Steven Stucky's "Etudes" are a bit more rigorous and straightforward than in his usual modus operandi, and they are certainly no worse for that. As one might deduce from the movement titles -- "Scales," "Glides," and "Arpeggios" -- Stucky's work is largely given over to patterns of various kinds, most of which reside in the domain of Petri. Stucky's colorful orchestration effectively punctuates these patterns and overall, it is an intriguing, rather zany work. Conductor Lan Shui cracks the whip and never allows the Danish National Symphony Orchestra to get out of line and the recording, made by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, is astonishingly realistic -- you almost hear the percussion sounding behind your head. Michala Petri is very much on her game here, easily earning and even exceeding even the accolades given to her by the composers whose works are represented on this outstanding recording. The blanket is off the cage, and in Our Recordings' Movements, the time has come for the canary to sing in the musical language of our time.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/29/2007
Label:
Dacapo
UPC:
0747313153169
catalogNumber:
6220531
Rank:
250029

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Northern Concerto, for recorder & orchestra  - Juan Albert Amargos  - Michala Petri  - Lan Shui  -  Danish National Symphony Orchestra  - Charlotte Bruun Petersen
  2. Pipes and Bells, for recorder & orchestra  -  Daniel Börtz  - Michala Petri  - Lan Shui  -  Danish National Symphony Orchestra  - Charlotte Bruun Petersen
  3. Etudes, concerto for recorder & orchestra  - Steven Stucky  - Michala Petri  - Lan Shui  -  Danish National Symphony Orchestra  - Charlotte Bruun Petersen

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