cd reviews
currently showing records for:
Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
BACH
6 Sonatas for recorder
5 stars - Michala Petri crosses her baroque trail
Henrik Friis, Politiken, Denmark
05 November 2019
Politiken Newspaper DK
5 stars
Michala Petri krydser sit barokspor
Sidste skud på stammen for den produktive fløjtenist er en krystalklar fortolkning af Bach-sonater, som holdes simpel og sanselig og i en imponerende lydkvalitet.
Der er gået næsten 30 år, siden Michala Petri indspillede Bachs fløjtesonater med jazzpianisten Keith Jarrett. Denne gang er duoen udvidet til en trio med en gambe – en slags forløber for celloen – der lægger silkebløde strøg mellem blokfløjtens luftige melodier og cembaloets knitrende motor.
Umiddelbart lyder det ikke, som om Petris idé om barokmusik har udviklet sig meget siden tiden med Keith Jarrett: Alt lægges klart ud i et kæmpemæssigt luftigt rum, hvor det lykkes smukt for de tre musikere at få musikken til at flyde fokuseret og minutiøst med detaljer og balance. Når man kommer tættere på, er der masser af forskel.
Den iranskfødte cembalist Mahan Esfahani er en af Petris faste partnere, og han er en meget sjovere cembalist end Jarrett. Hans lyd er tindrende klar, samtidig med at han ikke er bange for at smide begge hænder i tangenterne, når musikken skal kulminere. Og så er gamben en virkelig god idé. Specielt, når den tyske specialist Hille Perl får lov til at træde helt frem i lydbilledet og for eksempel knipse en rundgang som bund i en langsom, smertelig sats.
Værdigt jubilæumsalbum
Bachs 6 sonater varer alle 10-15 minutter fordelt på 3-4 korte satser, men de er temmelig forskellige. Nogle høvler med vold og magt derudad i et voldsomt opskruet tempo, mens andre har klimaks i en helt langsom sats, hvor de tre musikere sætter tiden i stå og lader musikken udtrykke sig søgende og spinkel. Det sidste bliver totalt overvældende sidst på albummet i sonaterne med de sexede titler BWV 1034 og 1035. De tre musikere holder det simpelt og sanseligt med et skønt nærvær.
Det er album nummer 40, siden Petri og Lars Hannibal dannede OUR Recordings. Og det er helt bestemt et værdigt jubilæums album i en imponerende høj lydkvalitet, der viser, at Petris lange karriere stadig har masser af fylde. Henrik Friis, 05.11.2019
English Google Translation:
5 stars
Michala Petri crosses her baroque trail
Last shot on the trunk of the prolific flute player is a crystal clear interpretation of Bach sonatas, which is kept simple and sensual and in an impressive sound quality.
It's been almost 30 years since Michala Petri recorded Bach's flute sonatas with jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. This time, the duo has expanded into a trio with a gamba - a kind of precursor to the cello - that adds silky strokes between the recorder's airy tunes and the harpsichord's crackling engine.
 
Immediately, it doesn't sound like Petri's idea of ​​Baroque music has evolved a lot since the time with Keith Jarrett: Everything is laid out clearly in a huge airy space where it is beautiful for the three musicians to make the music flow focused and meticulous in detail and balance. As you get closer, there is a lot of difference.
 
Iranian-born harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani is one of Petri's regular partners, and he is a much more fun harpsichordist than Jarrett. His sound is sparklingly clear, while not afraid to throw both hands into the keys when the music is to culminate. And then the gamba is a really good idea. Especially when the German specialist Hille Perl is allowed to step forward in the soundscape and, for example, pluck a vamp as the ground at a slow, painful movement.
Worthy anniversary album
Bach's 6 sonatas last all 10-15 minutes in 3-4 short movements, but they are all rather different. Some played with violence and power out there at a violently accelerated tempo, while others have a climax in a very slow movement, where the three musicians put the time to a stop and let the music express itself searching and tenuous. The last thing is totally overwhelming at the end of the album in the sonata with the sexy titles BWV 1034 and 1035. The three musicians keep it simple and sensual with a beautiful presence.
 
It's album number 40, since Petri and Lars Hannibal formed OUR Recordings. And it is definitely a worthy anniversary album in an impressively high sound quality that shows that Petri's long career still has plenty of fullness. 
Henrik Friis, Politiken, Denmark

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
BACH
6 Sonatas for recorder
The three musicians know exactly what a balanced dialogue is and how to have a lively conversation with each other and with the listener
Guy Engels, Pizzicato LU
01 November 2019
Bachs sechs Flötensonaten waren vom Komponisten nicht als Zyklus angelegt. Ob sämtliche Sonaten überhaupt von Bach sind, ist eine bis heute nicht restlos geklärte Frage. Ein anderes Thema ist die Wahl des Instruments. Bach kannte viele Traversspieler, inklusive den preußischen Kronprinzen Friedrich, und hat die Sonaten BWV 1030-1036 wohl für die Traversflöte geschrieben.
Bei Michala Petri sind die Kompositionen auf der Blockflöte allerdings auch in besten Händen. Nicht zu Unrecht wirft ihr Partner am Cembalo, Mahan Esfahani, im Begleitheft die Frage auf, ob es letztendlich nicht eher auf die musikalische Kommunikation ankomme, denn auf die buchstabengetreue Besetzung.
Mahan Esfahani stellt nicht nur die Frage, er und seine Partnerinnen Michala Petri und Hille Perl geben auch die treffende Antwort.
Michala Petri spielt die sechs Sonaten mit erfrischendem Esprit, mit brillanter Rhetorik. Hier ist kein Hauch von Akademismus und gelehrter Formensprache zu spüren. Obwohl die Blockflöte die Wortführerin ist, wirkt sie nie vorlaut und dominant. Hier spielen drei Musiker, die genau wissen und vor allem spüren, was ein ausgewogener Dialog ist und wie man untereinander und mit dem Zuhörer eine spritzige Konversation führen kann. Rezension von Guy Engels 01/11/2019

Bach’s six flute sonatas were not designed by the composer as a cycle. Whether all the sonatas are by Bach at all is a question that has not yet been completely clarified. Another topic is the choice of instrument. Bach knew many transverse flute players, including the Prussian crown prince Friedrich, and he probably wrote the sonatas BWV 1030-1036 for the transverse flute.
However, with Michala Petri and her recorder, the compositions are also in the best of hands. In the booklet her harpsichord partner Mahan Esfahani raises not without good reason the question whether musical communication is ultimately more important than the choice of the instrument. He as well as his partners Michala Petri and Hille Perl also give the right and unquestionable answer.
Michala Petri plays the six sonatas with refreshing esprit and brilliant rhetoric. There is no hint of academicism and learned formal language to be felt here. Although the recorder is the spokesperson, her playing never seems cheeky and dominant. The three musicians know exactly what a balanced dialogue is and how to have a lively conversation with each other and with the listener.
Guy Engels, Pizzicato LU

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
BACH
6 Sonatas for recorder
Musically rich, vibrant performances here from three top performers
Colin Clarke, Fanfare US
18 October 2019
Musically rich, vibrant performances here from three top performers. Michala Petri needs no introduction, surely (neither does her 1992 album of these Bach Sonatas with Keith Jarrett), while Mahan Esfahani has been redefining our ideas around the harpsichord for some time (I was present at his recording sessions for modern works for harpsichord due for release on Hyperion; he is something of a force of nature). Together with German gambist Hille Perl, they present a set of Bach Sonatas that combined beauty, intellect and historical awareness to provide a sublime musical experience. This is OUR Recordings’ 40th release, and the performances seem to speak of life and vivacity that implies there are many more to come.
The Sonatas BWV 1030-32 are marked as with “concertato [obbilgato] harpsichord” and so play to Esfahani’s strengths. His contribution is vibrant (listen to the opening of BWV 1031), and is in perfect congruence with Petri’s rhythmic lift and Perl’s nimble delivery. Esfahani plays on a new instrument built for him in Prague between 2017 and 2018 by Jukka Ollikka, inspired by the Michael Mietke instrument signed “Berlin 1710”. It features a carbon composite soundboard that increases both volume and tuning stability. Petri picks her instruments carefully and intelligently: two different Moeck Rottenburgh in Grenadill (the first tenor recorders she bought as a young student) for the fast and more light running movements plus two different alto recorders. The use of the mellow tenor recorder for BWV 1031-33 works beautifully: the intricate interactions between recorder and harpsichord in the Vivace of BWV 1032 (played in G-Major as against he original key of A) are truly revelatory. Grace informs that Sonata’s central Largo e dolce.
The use of a drone effect in the first movement of the C-Major, BWV 1033 is remarkable, as is the scampering riposte, with its exquisitely shaped phrases from Petri.  The darkening of the light into the G-Minor Sonata (originally in E-Minor) is reflected in the extraordinary third movement Andante, here truly exploratory. Only fitting, the, that the Allegro finale might as well be marked “con fuoco”; the virtuosity of all players is remarkable, and here more than anywhere else the presence the recording affords Hille Perl pays off.
The floridly melismatic first movement of BWV 1035 (here played in F-Major, originally in E) carries a beautiful sense of inevitability, while the woody, almost throaty recorder in the Siciliano is an arresting sound. Who said sicilianos were all rest and cotton wool? He characteristic rhythm is here, but so is disquiet. How haunting, too, is the very conclusion, where lines meet, the nexus prolonged beyond expectation. The rigor of the finale seems entirely in keeping with the severity of the Siciliano.
Perhaps the recording is a touch reverberant (Garnisons Kirke, Copenagen), but that should not detract from the importance of these performances. Colin Clarke OCTOBER 2019 Four stars:  Musically rich, vibrant performances here from three top performers
 
Colin Clarke, Fanfare US

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
BACH
6 Sonatas for recorder
If another recorder player surpasses what Petri has done here, I will be surprised.
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare USA
16 October 2019
This is Petri’s second time recording these works. The first time, in 1991, reviewed two years later by Kevin Bazzana, was for RCA Victor, and paired Petri with harpsichordist Keith Jarrett, in one of his occasional stints as a classical musician. Bazzana liked it a lot; I have that disc as well, and it’s certainly a top choice, if you have no objection to hearing works composed for the traverso played on a recorder. Last time, Petri had to transpose four of the sonatas (BWV 1031, 1032, 1034, and 1035) in order to play them on either a descant or alto recorder. This time, BWV 1031 has been left in its original key, presumably because she has acquired additional instruments in the interim; several tenor and alto recorders are listed in OUR’s booklet. She still transposes BWV 1032, 1034, and 1045, however.
                      Another change is the addition of a viola da gamba in all six of the sonatas. This is not discussed in the booklet note, but it is not unprecedented. Several recordings in which the sonatas are played on a flute add a cello or a viola da gamba, and to good effect, as it helps to fill out the lower end of the tonal spectrum. Given Perl’s popularity among early and Baroque music enthusiasts, including her in this project makes sense on multiple levels.
                      Bazzana noted Petri’s and Jarrett’s preference for “very quick tempos.” That remains the case here, although there has been a slight moderation since 1991. In timings, there is only one large deviation, and that is in the Andante of BWV 1034. That is not because of tempo, however, but because  Perl is given a chance, at the start, to pluck out the movement's melodic outline—a lovely, still moment in a program characterized by many lovely moments.
                      Petri remains a masterful player. I didn't expect otherwise, and she does not disappoint. This disc is a lesson in what the recorder is capable of, when it is played by a musician who possesses the ultimate in technique and discernment. I also like what Perl brings to this disc. She and Petri are on the same wavelength. Esfahani is no Jarrett, however. Next to the powerful personalities of Petri and Perl, he sounds pale and lacking imagination. I think the sound of his harpsichord is partly to blame; a new instrument by Jukka Ollikka, based on a German model by Michael Mietke, it is thin and tinkly. Jarrett's instrument, a 1982 Carl Fudge modeled on Taskin, has more depth. Perl fills in some of what Esfahani lacks, but it would have been better, of course, if both of them had been equal partners with Petri. For what it's worth, I will note that I liked Petri's and Esfahani's collaboration (sans Perl) on a disc of Corelli sonatas reviewed in 2015. Esfahani played a different instrument there. As I have written several times, my reaction to harpsichord recordings depends at least as much on the instrument as it does on the instrumentalist.
                      Reservations aside, this disc is a very good argument for performing these works on a recorder instead of a flute. If another recorder player surpasses what Petri has done here, I will be surprised. That said, this SACD does not clearly supplant her earlier release with Jarrett, which stimulates me just a little bit more.
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare USA

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
BACH
6 Sonatas for recorder
Five stars: Ensemble playing of the finest quality.
Dave Saemann, Fanfare
14 October 2019
                      Playing Bach’s flute sonatas on the recorder is a most satisfying idea. It’s just the sort of change in instruments that the ever practical Bach would agree to. And who wouldn’t want to hear Michala Petri play Bach? This in fact is her second recording of these works. The earlier version featured the great jazz pianist Keith Jarrett on harpsichord. What Jarrett does on that recording is fascinating. As a composer himself, he hears things in the continuo part that most harpsichordists would gloss over. Petri is very good on the previous album. There are places, particularly in BWV 1030 and 1031, where she doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with Jarrett’s pacing. In BWV 1032 and 1033, Petri plays the soprano recorder. There’s no doubt that her mastery of it is tremendous, but I prefer the tenor recorder on the new CD in these works. Even if you possess Petri’s recording with Jarrett, I believe you’ll want to hear this new CD. Petri’s conception has matured, and she truly is the dominant force on this album. The continuo players here blend excellently with her. Having a viola da gambist in addition to a harpsichordist gives the continuo richness and inspiration. Gambist Hille Perl is a serenely beautiful player, and her tone complements Petri on alto and tenor recorders superbly. Perl and Mahan Esfahani on harpsichord mesh their sounds elegantly and with great heart. Here is formidable Bach playing that wears its laurels lightly.
                      Three of the sonatas have been transposed into new keys to accommodate the recorder. They sound just fine. In the three sonatas played on tenor recorder, Petri uses one type of recorder in slow movements for its expressivity and tone color, while using different tenor recorders for the fast and, as she says, “light running” movements. Mahan Esfahani’s harpsichord is copied after a 1710 model, but with a carbon fiber composite soundboard for more stable tuning and increased volume. The opening Andante of BWV 1030 is the longest movement on the disc. Its scope is truly symphonic, as the textures from wind, string, and keyboard instruments present an orchestral range of sound. Perl’s pizzicato playing here is delectable, presenting a creamy plucked tone that offers Petri an elegant background. The Siciliano of BWV 1031 may remind you a little of “Sheep May Safely Graze.” Esfahani’s playing here is especially elegant, providing a noble context for Petri’s warm rendition. The Allegro of BWV 1032 shows the performers really cooking, sending the listener’s heartbeat racing while espousing the lightest touch. In the two minuets of BWV 1033, the players choose stately tempos that recall the French Baroque. For me, BWV 1034 is the highlight of the album. In its opening movement, Perl and Petri have what’s virtually a duet accompanied by Esfahani, stressing the autumnal nature of the two ladies’ instruments. The third movement begins with a ravishing plucked solo by Perl, changing to bowed notes discreetly accompanied by Esfahani, leading to Petri’s warm yet plaintive playing alongside Perl’s heartrending sounds. BWV 1035’s Siciliano features affecting duets for Petri and Perl, displaying a kind of empathy for each other that almost is sisterly.
                      The stereo sound engineering is beautifully blended and slightly recessed, presenting a gorgeous chamber music atmosphere. I was unable to listen to the surround sound program. My favorite performance of these works on the modern flute is by Laurel Zucker. Michala Petri’s artistic maturation is strongly on display here. This is Bach you will return to over and over. Highly recommended. Dave Saemann, October 2019
 
Five stars: Ensemble playing of the finest quality.
Dave Saemann, Fanfare

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
BACH
6 Sonatas for recorder
Bach - 6 Sonatas for recorder
11 October 2019

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
BACH
6 Sonatas for recorder
Fornemt Bach-spil
John Christiansen, JC Klassisk
06 October 2019
Fornemt Bach-spil
Johann Sebastian Bach: Seks fløjtesonater, BWV 1030-1035. OUR Recordings 8.220673. 74 minutter.
Så til en cd, som ikke behøver mange linjer for ar skulle blive en ”sællert”. Den evigt inspirerende mester på blokfløjte, eller recorder, Michala Petri har endnu engang slået sig sammen med den fantastiske Mahan Esfahani ved cembaloet i Johann Sebastian Bachs seks fløjtesonater, Bach Werk Verzeichnis 1030 til 1035. Hvor der også skal være en ægte barok-stryger som viola da gambaen, der ideelt gengiver den menneskelige stemme, som skrevet står, træder Hille Perl fint ind. Fuldendt Bach-spil i seks pragtfulde værker udgivet med omhu på Lars Hannibals og Michala Petris eget pladeselskab.
Google Translation:
Great Bach Playing
Johann Sebastian Bach: Six Flute Sonata, BWV 1030-1035. OUR Recordings 8.220673. 74 minutes.
So for a CD that does not need many lines for scars should become a "seller". The ever-inspiring master of recorder Michala Petri has once again joined forces with the amazing Mahan Esfahani at the harpsichord in Johann Sebastian Bach's six flute sonatas, Bach Werk Verzeichnis 1030 to 1035 which also include the baroque string instrument viola da gamba, which ideally reproduces the human voice as written, Hille Perl enters nicely.Perfect Bach play in six wonderful works, published with care on Lars Hannibal's and Michala Petri's own record label.
John Christiansen, JC Klassisk

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
BACH
6 Sonatas for recorder
Five stars – Bach as it should be played.
David Reznick, Fanfare
24 September 2019

This release is a treat for the eye even before you play it and a treat for the ear (and the heart) while you’re listening. The harpsichord player, Mahan Esfahani, wrote the introductory essay; he sounds as if he’s recently been in a fight with someone who thinks that Bach’s music should be played only by the instruments he had in mind, and whose view should be changed. But he can uncurl the lip and dim the glare in his eyes: There’s hardly anybody on the other side of the argument. Bach belongs to the world, and the world can do whatever it wants. I mean, if he survived what Stokowski did to him in Fantasia, he can survive anything. The beef presented here stems from someone who apparently complained that these works were written for the flute and therefore should not be played on the recorder (as they are in this performance). Aw, come on.

There are other things to point out here. For example, I know not whether the three musicians on this CD knew each other, or have been playing together for years, or just happened to walk into the room at the same time. The fact is that these three people were fated to play Bach together. This is clearly the reason they’re all on this planet. They have that magic something-or-other that allows three people to make music with one voice. And it’s really thrilling to hear. The lead instrument is the recorder (sometimes alto, sometimes tenor). Michala Petri plays the recorder with such virtuosity, such command, such beauty of tone that I’ve never heard on records. I’m not making a study of it, but I’d wager that no one else could play these sonatas any better. Her colleagues on the harpsichord and viola da gamba are doing exactly what they should be doing, and with great distinction. They have also recorded extensively on their own, with excellent results, so this release is no surprise.

This is the sort of performance that humanizes Bach. You may not be familiar with these flute sonatas. They’re not musical monuments, the kind that Bach produced so easily. But if you want to acquire more Bach chamber music, this should be your next purchase. Rest assured you have bought the best. 
David Reznick, Fanfare

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
Great Dutch review!
Ben Taffijn, Neuwen Noten
17 September 2019
De blokfluit is een onderschat instrument. Het zal komen door het gebruik op scholen dat het niet door iedereen als volwaardig wordt gezien. Onzin natuurlijk, beluister maar eens één van die blokfluitconcerten uit de Barok. Met name de Italianen hebben heel wat virtuoze concerten geschreven. De blokfluit is in de hedendaagse gecomponeerde muziek echter wat minder goed vertegenwoordigd, iets waar de fameuze Michala Petri al jarenlang verandering in probeert te brengen.
Met succes, want na eerdere albums met blokfluitconcerten, uitgebracht door Petri’s eigen label OUR Recordings, uit Denemarken, Engeland, Duitsland en Frankrijk en China, ligt er nu, met als titel ‘American Recorder Concertos’, een nieuwe met concerten van de Amerikaanse componisten Roberta SierraSteven StuckyAnthony Newman en Sean Hickey.
‘Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion’ heet het stuk van Sierra, dat hij oorspronkelijk in 2006 schreef voor blokfluit en gitaar en in 2016 bewerkte voor blokfluit en orkest. Direct in de ‘Prelude’ krijgt Petri de kans te schitteren met een vederlichte melodie, terwijl de Tivoli Copenhagen Phil, onder leiding van Alexander Shelley een feeëriek klankpalet hanteert.Een sfeer die zich doorzet in ‘Habanera’, maar nu aangevuld met een subtiele vorm van ritmiek. De ritmiek bereikt een hoogtepunt in ‘Perpetual Motion’, met als bijzonderheid het energieke en aanstekelijke duet blokfluit – slagwerk. Stucky voelde aanvankelijk die hierboven genoemde weerstand tegen de blokfluit, tot hij Petri hoorde spelen en besloot om het driedelige ‘Etudes’ te schrijven, waarin Petri wordt begeleid door een al even vederlicht spelend Danish National Symphony Orchestra, onder leiding van Lan Shui. Het eerste deel, ‘Scales’ laat goed horen welke mogelijkheden de blokfluit biedt. Langgerekte klanken en vrolijk gekwetter, of we hier een vogel horen, zet Stucky af tegen een abstract klanklandschap. In ‘Glides’, het tweede deel horen we de invloed van Béla Bartók en Witold Lutoslawski, twee door Stucky zeer gewaardeerde componisten. Maar het is het derde deel, ‘Arpeggios’ dat Petri de beste kans tot schitteren geeft, middels melodische patronen die verwijzen naar de Barok.
Met ‘A Pacifying Weapon’ verwijst Sean Hickey naar de blokfluit, die het opneemt tegen een heel blaasorkest, versterkt met percussie, hier The Royal Danish Academy of Music Concert Band, onder leiding van Jean Thorel. Niet alleen een leuk gegeven, Hickey verwijst hiermee wel degelijk naar het kruitvat dat de wereld is. Reeds in het eerst deel valt de weldadige toon op van de blokfluit, regelmatig flink contrasterend met het tumult van het concert. In het tweede deel gaat het er een stuk harmonieuzer aan toe. Noem het gerust de stilte voor de storm, die middels golven slagwerk het begin van het derde deel kenmerkt. Maar ook in dit deel blijft de klarinet fier overeind en helder van klank zijn vreedzame boodschap verkondigen, als tegenwicht tegen de duistere ensembleklanken.
Anthony Newman is een vooraanstaand clavecimbelist, gespecialiseerd in de muziek van Bach. Het mag dan ook niet verbazen dat zijn concert voor blokfluit, clavecimbel en strijkers het minst modern klinkt. Er wordt mooi gemusiceerd door zowel Petri als door Newman en het Nordic String Quartet maar de vraag is toch wel een beetje wat zo’n stuk nu echt toevoegt. Newman komt hier toch vooral over als de uitvoerder die ook eens een stuk wil componeren.

Bekijk hier een live opname van ‘Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion’:

Dansk oversættelse 
Blokfløjten er et undervurderet instrument. Det vil være på grund af brugen på skoler, at ikke alle ser det som et fuldt ud værdigt instrument. Nonsens, naturligvis, bare lyt til en af ​​disse blokfløjekoncerter fra barokken. Italienerne har især skrevet mange virtuose koncerter. Blokfløjten er dog mindre godt repræsenteret i den moderne komponeret musik, noget den berømte Michala Petri har forsøgt at ændre på i årevis.

Med succes, fordi der efter tidligere albums med blokfløjtekoncerter, der blev udgivet af Petris eget label OUR Recordings, fra Danmark, England, Tyskland og Frankrig og Kina, nu er en udgivelse, med titlen 'American Recorder Concertos', et ny album med koncerter af den amerikanske komponist Roberta Sierra, Steven Stucky, Anthony Newman og Sean Hickey.

"Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion" kaldes det stykke af Sierra, som han oprindeligt skrev i 2006 til blokfløjte og guitar og i 2016 arrangerede for blokfløjte og orkester. Umiddelbart i 'Prelude' får Petri chancen for at brillere med en fjerlys melodi, mens Tivoli Copenhagen Phil, under ledelse af Alexander Shelley, anvender en eventyrligt klangpalet. En atmosfære, der fortsætter i 'Habanera', men nu suppleret med en subtil form for rytme. Rytmen når et højdepunkt i "Perpetual Motion" med den energiske og smittende duet blokfløjte – perkussion. Stucky følte oprindeligt den førnævnte modstand mod blokfløjten, indtil han hørte Petri spille og besluttede at skrive den tredelte "Etudes", hvor Petri ledsages af et lige så let-spillende Dansk National Symphony Orchestra, ledet af Lan Shui. Den første del, "Scales", viser tydeligt de muligheder, som blokfløjten tilbyder. Langstrakte lyde og munter snak, som om vi hører en fugl her, kontrasterer Stucky med et abstrakt lydlandskab. I "Glides", den anden del, hører vi indflydelsen fra Béla Bartók og Witold Lutoslawski, to højt respekterede komponister af Stucky. Men det er den tredje del, "Arpeggios", der giver Petri den bedste chance for at brillere gennem melodiske mønstre, der refererer til barokken.

Med "A Pacifying Weapon" henviser Sean Hickey til blokfløjten, der tager det op med et helt vindorkester, forstærket med perkussion, her The Royal Danish Academy of Music Concert Band, ledet af Jean Thorel. Ikke kun en sjov kendsgerning, Hickey henviser faktisk til den smeltedigel, der er i verden. Allerede i første del er den beroligende tone af blokfløjten slående, som en gennemgående kontrast til koncertens tumult. I den anden del er det meget mere harmonisk. Du kan snildt kalde det stilheden før stormen, der markerer begyndelsen på den tredje del gennem bølgende slagværk. Men også i denne del står klarinetten stolt oprejst og forkynder klart sit fredelige budskab, som en modvægt til det mørke ensemblets lyde.

Anthony Newman er en fremtrædende cembalo-spiller, der er specialiseret i Bachs musik. Det burde derfor ikke komme som nogen overraskelse, at hans koncerter for blokfløjte, cembalo og strygere lyder mindst moderne. Der spilles smuk musik af både Petri og Newman og den nordiske strygekvartet, men spørgsmålet er lidt, hvad et sådant stykke virkelig tilføjer. Newman optræder her hovedsageligt som den kunstner, der også ønsker at komponere et stykke.

Se en liveoptagelse af "Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion" her:
 
 
Ben Taffijn, Neuwen Noten

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
Danish recorder doyenne Michala Petri turns to America for the latest instalment in her international concerto series, and it’s a stylistically varied quartet of recent works.
Gramophone October issue 2019, Charlotte Gardner
06 September 2019
Gramophone (UK)
Danish recorder doyenne Michala Petri turns to America for the latest instalment in her international concerto series, and it’s a stylistically varied quartet of recent works. First up is Roberto Sierra’s Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion, a 2018 expansion and development of a 2006 composition for recorder and guitar, for which Petri is ably joined by the Tivoli Copenhagen Philharmonic under Alexander Shelley. The recorder occupies centre stage from the off; and with its ornate melismas circling over a pizzicato-strong accompaniment of ghostly harmonies, it’s the perfect vehicle for Petri’s clean, smooth, precise sound. Likewise the final bongo-accompanied ‘Perpetual Motion’, whose shrilly ducking and diving virtuosities are a reminder if any were needed of Petri’s capacity to get her fingers around absolutely anything, no matter how fast, and make it sound like liquid mercury.
The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Lan Shui join her for Steven Stucky’s Etudes for recorder and orchestra (2000, written for Petri herself), whose trio of movements – ‘Scales’, ‘Glides’ and ‘Arpeggios’ – explore the orchestra’s palette of colours in a variety of interesting directions, all of which are attacked with artistic gusto by the DNSO. We then switch ensembles once more, as Anthony Newman himself takes the harpsichordist’s part for his 2016 Concerto for recorder, harpsichord and strings: a perkily inventive old-meets-new celebration of the recorder’s Baroque heyday. We wind up with Jean Thorel conducting the Royal Danish Academy of Music Concert Band in Sean Hickey’s A Pacifying Weapon for recorder, winds, brass, percussion and harp: a 2015 work which has the recorder playing the role of an ancient, gentle protester against the menacing, harsher forces of the contemporary world.
This is a multicoloured, multi-textured, multi-ensemble presentation of interesting, little-known repertoire, casting the recorder in all sorts of different stylistic and emotional guises – which makes it all the more surprising that the actual listening experience has ended up being so very samey throughout. Certainly Petri’s phenomenal technique is as polished and en pointe as ever, and her sound as clear and sweet. However, perfection alone does not make a performance, and there’s a lack of emotional fire and conviction from her here, which has had an anaesthetising effect on the whole. As a result, none of it has grabbed me sufficiently to warrant continued listening once the metaphorical ink has dried on this review.
Gramophone October issue 2019, Charlotte Gardner

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
Kudos to all involved.
Grego Applegate Edwards, classicalmodernmusic.blogspot.com
11.July 2019
The recorder saw a peak popularity in the Classical music world with the advent of the Baroque period. The Modern era by contrast has not found the instrument entering the repertoire much at all. But if Michala Petri and the composers represented on American Recorder Concertos (OUR Recordings 8.226912) have their way that could be changing.

Our current phase of Modernity does not have the same attitude about tonality and the lack that the Dodecaphonic composers may have had, not to mention the latter's stylistic need to unveil chromatic non-continuity that in some ways is not inherently idiomatic to a recorder. What that means is that the recorder's ordinarily contiguous diatonicism is no longer necessarily a drawback to the contemporary idiom, provided that composer and player situate the possibilities of the instrument in an adventurous and imaginative use of sequencing and create anew a virtuosity fitting to our times. That means something,

Happily one hears such things on the music of this program. As one gets to know these pieces one does not feel that there has been undue compromise either on the composer's freedom or the player's musicality. The four works we hear in fact sound very much of our time yet too sound very idiomatic to the beauty of the instrument in timbre, intervallic grace, and lyrical earthiness.

Recorder virtuoso Michala Petri has everything to do with the existence of these four works for she specially commissioned them, happily, to redress the general scarcity of recorders on the Modern American compositional scene, especially as full-blown concerted statements.

And so between 2000 and 2016 the four works featured on the program came to being. And now with this release we get to hear all of them in near-ideal conditions with well prepared ensembles and Michala Petri's considerable artistry.

What strikes me about it at first consideration is just how contemporary it all sounds, yet too how each composer has gone forward with each a distinctively original step ahead.

For example harpsichord virtuoso Anthony Newman's "Concerto for recorder, harpsichord and strings" for Michala, Newman on harpsichord and the Nordic String Quartet has a more Neo-Baroque element in play but in no case would you confuse this music with that of the earlier period. It is a delightful romp with some rather incredible recorder pyrotechnics and a Baroque brightness coupled with a Modern freshness.

Roberto Sierra's "Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion" gives Michala and the Tivoli Copenhagen Phil under Alexander Shelley a widely expansive Latin feel as it is a refiguring of a work Sierra originally scored for recorder and guitar. We feel the presence of the initial instrumentation yet also a pronounced color palette coming out of the new timbral possibilities.

Steven Stucky's "Etudes," a concerto for recorder and orchestra, started this series of works in 2000 and grounds our sensibilities in a series of interplays between Michala and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (under Lan Shui) that show a masterful compositional hand and help spell out for us a new sensibility for the recorder in our contemporary world.

Finally we have at nearly 30 minutes the longest and perhaps most ambitious of the four works in Sean Hickey's "A Pacifying Weapon" for recorder, winds, brass, percussion and harp, this time Michala Petri joining forces with the eminently capable Royal Danish Academy of Music Concert Band under Jean Thorel. It is a tour de force with twistingly, fiendishly difficult recorder heroics
against a firebranded windband backdrop contrasted by meditatively ponderous reflective moments.

The promise of the recorder concerto for today has in this way presented itself to us and we find in all ways a virtuoso heroism coupled by a discerning contemporary stance on what constitutes a concerto. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is the unforced outflowing of this music as a natural give-and-take between the instrument, its widened capabilities in the hands of a master performer and the considerable forward leaning imaginations of the four composers and their memorable art on display for us in this program.

I am happy to recommend this album for anyone interested in the instrument and so also in the contemporary concerto as it is evolving in our times. Kudos to all involved.
Grego Applegate Edwards, classicalmodernmusic.blogspot.com

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
As always, Petri´s playing is exemplary
Andrew Mayes, The Recorder Magazine (UK)
20 June 2019
Petri´s unfailing commitment to performing and commissioning new music continues with the recent series of recorder concertos from different countries. All the works here are written for her and the Concertos by Roberto Sierra and Anthony Newman are world premiere recordings. The Newman is really a chamber work – scored for recorder, harpsichord and strings and feels very retrospective. The Steven Stucky was by far the most interesting and successful work for me. Compositionally more complex, the playing and sound quality in this recording with the Danish national Symphony Orchestra stand out. Also includes Concertos by Sean Hickey for recorder and Wind band. As always, Petri´s playing is exemplary. 
Andrew Mayes, The Recorder Magazine (UK)

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
A SUPERSONIC Review This is a coherent, stirring program, splendidly played and very well recorded
Remy Franck, Pizzicato
09 May 2019
 
Four modern, but rousing and quite accessible recorder concertos in superb interpretations: Michala Petri's latest CD production delivers excitement in a program of world premieres!
 
'Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion' by composer Roberto Sierra, born in 1953, is a really great piece, immensely well done and exciting, with ample opportunities for Michala Petri to showcase her talents.
Steve Stucky’s Etudes (1949-2016) are a little more modern, but very effective in their own atmospheric way. Michala’s sensitive interpretation draws out each movements hidden beauties! With three highly virtuoso movements (Toccata, Devil's Dance, Furie) and a Lament, Anthony Newman’s (* 1941) neo-classical concerto takes a look over the shoulder at the recorder’s Golden Age. Once again, Michala’s advocacy brings each movement excitingly to life.
Sean Hickey's Concerto for recorder, brass, brass, percussion and harp, 'A Pacifying Weapon', is the most modern piece on the CD and is a personal response by the composer to contemporary but unspecified world events. This may give the music a somewhat threatening character, but it is above all the musical construction and the resulting harmonies that fascinate. Hickey has many ideas and can add them very well to a whole that is effectively presented.
Verdict: This is a coherent, stirring program, splendidly played and very well recorded. 
Remy Franck, Pizzicato

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
A beautiful display of surprisingly rich modern recorder repertoire
FP BBC Music Magazine
01 May 2019
A beautiful display of surprisingly rich modern recorder repertoire. Petri delivers dynamic concertos with crystal-clear tone and perfectly-judged spikiness and lyricism. 
FP BBC Music Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
Any serious collector of contemporary concertos would be foolish to pass this one up
David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare USA
05 April 2019
Michala Petri has been playing recorder for all but the first two of her 61 years, and has had about the most distinguished career I suppose it is possible to have short of playing an instrument such as piano or violin that possesses a huge repertory. Her recording career extends well back into the LP era, and she has been presented on major labels such as Philips and RCA. Petri has not been content with the relatively limited concerto repertory for her instrument and has commissioned, performed, and recorded dozens of works from major composers all over the globe. James Altena and Raymond Tuttle, for instance, both reviewed a disc of English recorder concertos in 36:1, and there are at least 90 other reviews of her playing to be found in the Fanfare archive.
This Danish artist has turned to four American composers for the present recital, three of whom have written music I’ve known and loved for years. Only the fourth, Sean Hickey, is a new discovery for me, and an important one. The disc opens with Prelude, Habanera, and Perpetual Motion, a recorder concerto by Roberto Sierra, a composer who is increasingly becoming one of my favorite living composers. The work began its life originally in a version for recorder and guitar, a combination particularly favored by Petri. In fitting the work in its present orchestral garb, the composer has retained a quasi-guitar feeling through significant use of pizzicato in the strings and certain effects in the percussion. Its light scoring allows the recorder to shine in prominence throughout the work. The opening movement calls for many melismas, and is followed by a dark and mysterious habanera that takes the recorder up into the piccolo range on occasion. I had rather forgotten that the instrument (in its soprano family member) could play that high. The last movement features a constant stream of notes from both soloist and ensemble structured into groups of 3+3+2, a grouping commonly found in Latin American music. Throughout the work, Sierra’s imaginative sonorities and harmonies are on full display, and his writing always carries the listener inexorably forward to an exciting conclusion. Along the way, some extremely quick double-tonguing is demanded from the soloist.
The harmonic language of Steven Stucky in his recorder concerto, Etudes, is similar to that of Sierra, but the two pieces do not at all resemble each other on textural or structural grounds. The Stucky work is conceived in rather improvisatory fashion, eschewing much in the way of formal structure. It also features fairly wide use of special effects such as pitch bends, flutter tongue, mutes (in the orchestral instruments: I doubt it is possible to mute a recorder), and the like. Given the pitch bends, the work bears a good bit of resemblance to music I’ve heard (and written) for Native American flute, where such things are the norm rather than the exception. These also serve to give the piece a haunting quality that is usually absent from most recorder works. The Concerto concludes with a frenetic movement, featuring irregular sequences of notes from both solo instrument and ensemble, punctuated by interjections from instruments such as xylophone and temple blocks. This may be my favorite movement on the disc, and is certainly one of the most intricate and tricky to execute.
Anthony Newman’s Concerto eschews all but five instruments in the ensemble, as he restricts the accompanimental forces to a harpsichord (played by the composer) and string quartet. Readers with good memories will recall my very positive reviews of this composer’s (not quite) complete works, and subsets thereof (including a set of his Symphonies) in several reviews. The present work lives up to the high standard he demands of himself, and this ebullient and bubbly work is sheer delight from beginning to end. Newman has carved out his own niche in the American music scene, in that no one else is writing (and likely could write) music like this. He is, in short, the sui generis neo-Baroque composer of our time, and this work is a classic example of this style. Its four movements include “Toccata,” a note-infused busy exercise, “Devil’s Dance,” a tongue-in-cheek bouncy affair, “Lament,” in which Newman bridles his jocularity in favor of a simple and direct soulful song, and the zany “Furie.”
As I mentioned earlier, Sean Hickey is the new discovery for me on the present CD. His music is colorful, extremely well-orchestrated, and full of imagination and life. His A Pacifying Weapon, a substantial (half-hour) concerto for recorder and ensemble of winds, percussion, and harp, is the first combination of such forces I can recall encountering. Because this very performance has been reviewed in previous issues of Fanfare by Ronald Grames, Robert Carl, and Raymond Tuttle, all in 41:1, and by Colin Clarke (twice: also in 42:5), I need not re-invent a wheel that has so capably been created and treated (why is one of those words three syllables and the other only two?) by my colleagues. Suffice it to say that Hickey does an exceedingly good job in keeping forces that could easily overpower a recorder from doing so, and writing a work for a solo instrument that sounds like none other I’ve heard. I was greatly impressed by it and will be on the lookout for more music by this Detroit-born composer.
Michala Petri’s playing on this recital gives ample evidence why she is nonpareil in the recorder world. I simply cannot imagine these works any better performed. If there is another recorder player out there that could even match her pitch and tonguing accuracy, her musical expressiveness, and her ability to vary the very timbre of her instrument, in fact, I’m unaware of whom that might be. Her playing is superbly supported by the four different ensembles utilized in this concert. Any serious collector of contemporary concertos would be foolish to pass this one up. 
David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare USA

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
Petri is, of course, a genius
Rick, CD HotList - New Releases for Libraries (US)
05 April 2019
 
Petri is, of course, a genius
As the press materials point out, “it is one of the great ironies of the recorder´s long historie, that despite being ubiquitous in nearly every American public school program, few composers ever explored writing for it.” Be that as it may, luckily we have the international treasure that is virtuoso recorder player Michala Petri, who has commissioned for showpieces of contemporary classical recorder music: each of them written as a concerto… from Roberto Sierra´s and Steven Stucky´s work for recorder and orchestra to Anthony Newnan´s piece for recorder, harpsichord and string quartet and Sean Hickey´s for recorder with winds, brass, percussion and harp. Most of these pieces (two of which are presented here in world-premiere recordings) are bracingly modernist, though Newman´s hark back very explicitly to the recorder´s glory days during the baroque period. Petri is, of course, a genius.
Rick, CD HotList - New Releases for Libraries (US)

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
10/10/10
Heinz Braun, Klassik Heute, Germany
13 March 2019
Seit nunmehr 12 Jahren veröffentlicht das kleine dänische Label OUR Recordings eine bislang beispiellose Anthologie zeitgenössischer Blockflötenkonzerte, die im Auftrag der vielfach preisgekrönten Blockflötenvirtuosin Michala Petri entstanden sind. Fürwahr eine Herkulesaufgabe und wahre Heldentat für das vielfach immer noch unterschätzte Instrument, das nicht zuletzt dank Michala Petri inzwischen auch die großen Konzertsäle der Welt erobern konnte. Mit einer Einspielung von amerikanischen Blockflötenkonzerten geht die Serie vorerst zu Ende, und wieder ist dem Team um Lars Hannibal und Michala Petri ein wahres Juwel gelungen: Vier Konzerte wie sie unterschiedlicher nicht sein könnten und doch alles Meisterwerke sui generis. Zwei der vier Kompositionen sind tatsächlich Wiederveröffentlichungen: Steven Stuckys 2000 entstandene Etudes, ein sich mit vertrackten Rhythmen, rasanten Skalenbewegungen, Glissandi und sich über Orgelpunkten und Ostinati entwickelnde athmosphärischen Klangflächen entfaltendes Werk ganz eigener Art. Ein schöner, lohnender Rückgriff auf Movements, die erste CD der Serie aus dem Jahr 2007. Sean Hickeys 2015 entstandenes dreisätziges Konzert A Pacifying Weapon (sinngemäß übersetzt: ein Werkzeug des Friedens) für Blockflöte, Bläser, Schlagzeug und Harfe war bislang nur auf Vinyl greifbar. Das Stück erhielt übrigens die Goldmedaille der Global Music Awards 2017. Für ein zeitgenössisches Blockflötenkonzert ganz sicher eine Premiere und eine „große Bühne“ für das Instrument!
Die beiden anderen Konzerte der CD entstanden eigens für diese Zusammenstellung. Zwar handelt es sich bei Roberto Sierras Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion um die „Bearbeitung“ eines bereits früher für das Duo Petri/Hannibal komponierten Kammermusikwerkes für Blockflöte und Gitarre, doch gewinnt das Stück in dieser völlig neuen Fassung enorm an Charakterschärfe und Ausdruckskraft, deren atmosphärische Dichte sich im Live-Mitschnitt der Uraufführung aus dem Kopenhagener Tivoli vom Sommer vergangenen Jahres widerspiegelt und sich geradezu magisch überträgt. Anthony Newmans Konzert für Blockflöte, Streicher und Cembalo aus dem Jahr 2016 (hier in einer Version mit begleitendem Streichquartett) erfüllt mit seiner neoklassizistischen Grundhaltung, Zugänglichkeit und Spielfreude alle Voraussetzungen, ein viel gespieltes Werk des Gegenwartsrepertoires zu werden, zumal es besetzungsmäßig ein treffliches Pendant zu barocken Solokonzerten darstellt.
Heinz Braun, Klassik Heute, Germany

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
The recorder is now a full-fledged citizen of the 21st century.
Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare USA
11 March 2019
My first impression of American Recorder Concertos was that it might be a sequel to Michala Petri’s Movements, a disc which I very favorably reviewed in Fanfare 32:2. However it’s actually the most recent of a tantalizing series devoted to recorder concertos from around the word, including Chinese Recorder Concertos, English Recorder Concertos, Danish & Faroese Recorder Concertos, with Pacific Recorder Concertos, South American Recorder Concertos, and Middle East Recorder Concertos still to come. Assuming these meet the standard set by Movements and American Recorder Concertos—and there’s no reason to presume otherwise—these discs must comprise a fascinating introduction to international contemporary recorder concerto repertoire. This newest release presents an inspired program of colorful, imaginative, and highly individual music that beautifully complements Petri’s phenomenal mastery. Just a portion of what so impressed me would include Sierra’s delightful second movement, Habanera, his third movement Perpetual Motion’s inviting 3+3+2 rhythm that prolongs the Latin ambiance, and the same movement’s conga and recorder cadenza; Stucky’s ingenious, high-flying recorder figures, superb orchestration, and sense of humor; Newman’s backwards glance at Elizabethan music that retains all the vitality and melodic appeal of the originals; and Hickey’s full-blown, almost brutal fanfares balanced by dream-like recorder solos, the numerous dance-inducing passages, and the last movement’s unexpected toe-tapping Scottish Highland reel. As Movements stunningly demonstrated previously, the recorder is now a full-fledged citizen of the 21st century and should no longer be pigeonholed as a Renaissance or Baroque holdover. Enthusiastically recommended
Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare USA

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
Has anyone done more to expand the recorder's repertory than Danish musician Michala Petri?
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare USA
04 March 2019
These four works are further proof that there is no need to “Make America Great Again.” Any country that can produce four concertos that are so different, and yet so consistent in terms of their quality, must already be great, even without any help from the nation's leaders!
                             Of course it helps when you, the composer, are working with a first-class soloist. Has anyone done more to expand the recorder's repertory than Danish musician Michala Petri? The booklet note states that more than 150 works have been composed especially for her. All of the concertos on this CD were written for her in 2015 or more recently, with the exception of Steven Stucky's Etudes, which date from 2000. (One notes with sadness that Stucky passed away in 2016, a victim of brain cancer.) Stucky's work is in three movements whose titles (“Scales,” “Glides,” and “Arpeggios”) are the only introduction that the music really needs, other than to say that the music is not about developing the soloist's technique; these are not exercises any more than Swan Lake is an evening at the barre! Stucky's work is rich in affect, and the central movement, in particular, creates a fascinating, open-ended emotional space.
                             The title of Roberto Sierra's three-movement work also is a more than adequate description of its contents. The first two movements are cloaked in mystery. The third bursts into the daylight, and with its Latin rhythms and turns of phrase, reminds us that Sierra was born in Puerto Rico. The original version of this work was for recorder and guitar; even so, Sierra's expert and colorful use of the orchestra perfectly complements the recorder's timbres.
                             The Concerto for Recorder, Harpsichord, and Strings is one of Anthony Newman's most successful works. Newman built his career as a sometimes unconventional performer on keyboard instruments, and mostly in the Baroque repertory. His latter-day activity as a composer has sometimes been so personal that I am unsure how to approach it. The present work, however, is very inviting in the way that it integrates looking back and looking forward. Once again, the movement titles (“Toccata,” “Devil's Dance,” “Lament,” and “Furie”) just about speak for themselves, and for the concerto as a whole.
                             I reviewed Sean Hickey's A Pacifying Weapon as an mp3 download in Fanfare 41:1. I liked it, with minor reservations, then, and like it no less now. The title is taken from a song by the Indigo Girls, but for us older farts, think of the film The Day the Earth Stood Still and you'll have a frame of reference. Given the use of multiple recorders, and an ever larger percussion instrumentarium, this piece, because of its theatrical tone, probably works better experienced live. Hickey, born in 1970, is by far the youngest composer here, and is more than a decade younger than Petri herself. He doesn't embarrass his elders, however, and, to mention another science fiction classic, we will treat A Pacifying Weapon as a promise of Things To Come.
                             The material on this CD was recorded over a period of 12 years in four different venues. Despite that, there is no variability in the awesomeness of Petri's talents, and there are no jarring differences between the recordings themselves, or between the accompanying musicians. I would have liked it if Petri's instruments had been identified because, as you probably know, a recorder is not a recorder is not a recorder; it is not atypical for a piece she plays to call on more than one of them. That said, the booklet is certainly adequate, and the performances are fare more than that. 
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare USA

Michala Petri, recorder
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
American Recorder Concertos
The indefatigable Michala Petri continues her championship of the recorder repertoire in this beautifully recorded and annotated disc.
Colin Clarke, Fanfare USA
18 February 2019
The indefatigable Michala Petri continues her championship of the recorder repertoire in this beautifully recorded and annotated discComposer Roberto Sierra’s Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion develops a 2006 piece for recorder and guitar. It is precisely this sort of piece that allows us to rethink what the recorder means (what we associate it with) and what it can achieve. The dark Prelude leads to an habanera that is more like an outline of an habanera; shadowy, elusive and slinky in a specter-like way, it leads to a Perpetual Motion that does exactly what it says on the can, with the underpinning of characteristic Afro-Caribbean rhythms. I very much enjoyed an Albany release of cello music by Sierra played by John Haines-Eitzen (Fanfare 41:5); the sheer vivacity of this “Perpetual Motion” finale reminds us of how alive his music can be. Needless to say, perhaps, but worth restating, that Petri is the nonpareil of recorder players and she is faultless here; the Tivoli Copenhagen Philharmonic is in fine, responsive form under the baton of Alexander Shelley (the son of Howard Shelley, incidentally).
Steven Stucky (1949—2016) was once known mainly as an authority on the music of Lutosławski (I personally remember an excellent lecture he gave at King’s College London to grad students in the early-mid 1980s); now, more and more, we can enjoy his own music. Stucky’s Etudes (Concerto for Recorder and Chamber Orchestra) is a more expressive piece than the title might imply. Each movement has a descriptive title (Scales, Glides, Arpeggios), none of which does justice to the delights inside, particularly in the case of the creeping (and creepy) night music of the central panel. The playing is simply remarkable. All players, not only the soloist, need their full wits about them in the scampering finale: cheeky, glittering, agile, this is magnificent, its virtuoso ed guaranteed to raise a smile. A great follow-up would be Stucky’s Album Leaves and Little Variations for David heard on Gloria Cheng’s Telarc recital (which rightly made it to two critics’ Want Lists in 2008).
The name Anthony Newman needs no introduction to Fanfare readers, surely. His huge output is consistently refreshing, in neo-Baroque style and marked by clarity of line and texture, all features of the little packet of delight that is his Concerto for Recorder, Harpsichord and Strings. Newman himself plays harpsichord. The opening Toccata is busy and expert both from composer and performers (the ripieno is performed by a string quartet) while “Devil’s Dance” has Old Nick in circus mode rather than nightmarish visions. The lower end of the recorder invites us into more interior spaces in the “Lament”; the finale is a proper romp, but listen to how Newman’s harmonies have a magnificent unpredictability about them.
Sean Hickey’s A Pacifying Weapon (2015) has already been issued on an all-Hickey OUR disc reviewed in Fanfare 41:1 reviewed as a download by myself. Interestingly enough, that disc had a neo-Baroque piece also, but that
time by Thomas Clausen (and accompanied by the Lapland Chamber Orchestra). Hickey’s piece’s immediate achievement is to ensure we can actually hear the soloist against such a barrage of wind and brass, but his keen ear and ability to work in plateau of different dynamic levels ensures the soloist more than makes her mark. Reacquainting myself with Hickey’s meditation on contemporary disquiets which uses the solo recorder as the “pacifying weapon” confirmed the stature of Hickey’s utterance. There is a real ear here for finely judged sonorities, and the work sustains its length well via the soliloquizing power of the recorder.
Both the Sierra and the Newman are World Premiere recordings; like the Hickey, Steven Stucky’s piece was released previously by OUR on a disc entitled Movements, there sharing space with music by Joan Albert Amargós and Daniel Börtz. A lavish booklet and detailed notes complete a high-class release.
Colin Clarke, Fanfare USA
  OUR Recordings
Esromgade 15, opg. 1, 3rd floor, room 15
2200 Copenhagen N
Denmark
Tel: +45 4015 05 77
E-mail: hannibal@michalapetri.com
QUICK LINKS
NEWS
CONCERT SCHEDULE
BIOGRAPHY
DISCOGRAPHY
PROJECTS
COLLABORATORS
REVIEWS
GALLERIES
  AWARDS & NOMINATIONS
COMMISSIONS & PREMIERES
GUESTBOOK
CONTACT

OUR RECORDINGS WEBSITE
LARS HANNIBAL'S WEBSITE

 

 
 

Home | Contact | Copyright OUR Recordings 2002 - 2019. All rights reserved. | OUR Recordings' Official Website | Lars Hannibal's Official Website