cd reviews
currently showing records for:
Michala Petri, recorder
Lars Hannibal, guitar
Garden Party
10/10/10" Einem absoluten Vergnügen"
Markus Zahnhausen, Klassik Heute, Germany
23 December 2017

Was lange währt, darf auch gebührend gefeiert werden: Das weltbekannte dänische Künstler-Duo Michala Petri (Blockflöte) und Lars Hannibal (Gitarre) spielte sein erstes Konzert im Jahr 1992 in Südspanien. Seither haben die beiden sympathischen Musiker über 1.500 Konzerte in den bedeutendsten Konzertsälen rund um den Erdball gegeben und waren auf den wichtigsten Musikfestivals zu Gast. Bekannte zeitgenössische Komponisten haben eigens für das Duo geschrieben, dessen nunmehr ein Viertljahrhundert währendes Schaffen auf zahlreichen CDs dokumentiert ist.

Der Titel des Jubiläumsalbums Garden-Party legt die Vorstellung einer ebensolchen nahe, führt aber ein wenig in die Irre, denn er ist dem gleichnamigen, 1992 entstandenen Stück des dänischen Komponisten Asger Lund Christiansen (1927-1998) entlehnt, das in einer Ersteinspielung auf diesem Album erscheint.

An dieser Stelle möchte ich eine persönliche Erinnerung an dieses bemerkenswerte Ensemble einflechten. Es wird Anfang der 2000-er Jahre gewesen sein, als ich das Vergnügen hatte, die beiden Musiker zum ersten Mal „live“ in einem Konzert in der fabelhaften Aura und Akustik des Münchner Prinzregententheaters hören zu dürfen. Neben der außerordentlichen Virtuosität und Bühnenpräsenz sind mir bis heute die gelungenen Bearbeitungen einiger Lyrischer Stücke Edvard Griegs in Erinnerung geblieben, die so überzeugend klangen, als ob sie genau für diese Besetzung geschrieben worden wären.

Zusammen mit den Humoristischen Bagatellen ihres großen dänischen Landsmannes Carl Nielsen bildet eine Auswahl eben jener Lyrischen Stücke sozusagen den Eckpfeiler des Programms – zauberhafte musikalische Petitessen in fabelhaften Arrangements, mit perfekter Leichtigkeit und Klangsinn gespielt.

Dazwischen, gleichsam als Intermezzi, zwei herrliche, ein wenig an Eric Satie erinnernde Kompositionen Lars Hannibals, die ebenso auf diesem Album zum ersten Mal eingespielt wurden: Dreams und Sunset Dance entführen den Hörer in eine ruhige, zeitlose Traumwelt und fügen sich ideal in das Gesamtkonzept der CD ein.

Dramaturgisch geschickt sind die beiden umfangreichsten Kompositionen des Programms in der Mitte platziert: die in Lars Hannibals Bearbeitung überraschend „vollwertig“ klingende Fassung von Edouard Lalos ursprünglich 1878 für den legendären Geiger Sarasate geschriebener Fantasie norvégienne sowie die bereits eingangs erwähnte Garden Party Lund Christiansens, eine originelle Suite, die durchaus bildhaft, jedoch nie plakativ die Charaktere von sechs verschiedenen (Garten)vögeln wie Amsel, Buchfink, Dompfaff, Bachstelze u.a. darstellt. Die Titelgebung des Werkes und seiner Sätze wirkt auf mich wie ein bescheidenes Understatement, handelt es sich doch spieltechnisch wie musikalisch um äußerst anspruchsvolle Miniaturen, die sich keineswegs auf die Imitation von Vogelgezwitscher reduzieren lassen.

Michala Petri ist bei alldem ganz in ihrem Element. Unter Einsatz einer breiten Palette verschieden timbrierter Blockflöten glänzt sie durch ihre musikalische Natürlichkeit. Lars Hannibal fungiert nicht nur als Begleiter, sondern als absolut ebenbürtiger musikalischer Partner.

Der herrliche Klang der Aufnahme und ein umfangreiches mehrsprachiges Beiheft lassen die CD zu einem absoluten Vergnügen werden. Ohne Zweifel ein wahrhaft würdiges Fest zum 25-jährigen bestehen dieses außergewöhnlichen Künstler-Duos.

Markus Zahnhausen, Klassik Heute, Germany

DVD: MARIN (Animated Fantasy), Axel (Portrait)
SACD: Selected Highlights
Marin
Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012)
The music (unquestionably in avant-garde idiom) is written for a very disparate collection of instruments, which the composer utilises to the full.
Barry Forshaw, CD Choice
10 December 2017
CD Choice (UK)
BORUP-JORENSEN: MARIN, Soloists, DNSO, Thomas Sondergard/ OUR Recordings, 21104 26   This curious package (containing both a DVD and a Super Audio CD) contains both an animated film and a portrait of the composer Axel Borup-Jorgensen. The music (unquestionably in avant-garde idiom) is written for a very disparate collection of instruments, which the composer utilises to the full. Not for every taste, but those of adventurous mien might find this a worthwhile investment.
Barry Forshaw, CD Choice

DVD: MARIN (Animated Fantasy), Axel (Portrait)
SACD: Selected Highlights
Marin
Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012)
. The fantasy is quite beautiful, and (fortunately) about as far from Walt Disney and Pixar as one could imagine!
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare
10 December 2017
 
BORUP-JØRGENSEN Marin ● Thomas Søndergård, cond; Danish Natl SO ● OUR 2.110426 (SACD 78:29 + DVD)
k music for percussion + viola. Für Cembalo und Orgel. Nachstück. winter pieces. Pergolato. Coast of Sirens. DVD: Axel – A Portrait Film
The purpose of this release appears to be two-fold: to introduce new listeners to the music of Danish composer Axel Borup-Jørgensen, who died in 2012, and to bring us a spectacular new recording of Marin, one of his few works for orchestra. Promoting this composer has been an ongoing effort for recorder virtuosa Michala Petri (his virtual “second daughter”), Lars Hannibal, and their record label, OUR Recordings: in 2016 (Fanfare 39:3), I reviewed an OUR Recordings tribute to this composer titled Nordic Sound, and it included another of his major works (Sommasvit), plus five works by the composer's friends and colleagues. Here, with this new release, the focus is on Marin, which is not quite 19 minutes in length; the remainder of the SACD is occupied by works and performances previously released on the OUR Recordings or Dacapo labels. On the DVD, the same performance of Marin is paired with an animated fantasy inspired by the music, and the rest of the DVD is devoted to a “portrait film”—in other words, a documentary—about the composer. It is about a half-hour long.
It is interesting to compare Marin with John Luther Adams's Become Ocean, another modern orchestral work inspired by the sea. Arguably, Become Ocean is the more literal of the two, particularly in its musical depiction of waves. In contrast, Marin makes you aware of the water's actual weight. The music has a very heavy sound—and if you've got speakers with a bass good response, wait until you hear this recording, which is an audiophile's dream (and a downstairs neighbor's nightmare). At the same time, Marin was composed to be as precise and detailed as chamber music; Axel Borup-Jørgensen knew what he wanted, and he was not a composer who left things to chance. Although he studied at Darmstadt, he was not a serial composer, and he preferred to follow his instincts than to adhere to dogma or formulas. However, as is stated at the start of the documentary, his goal was not originality, but honesty—particularly with himself, I would imagine. In his own way, Borup-Jørgensen was as exacting as Maurice Ravel, and perhaps I am not too wide of the mark when I suggest that there are similarities between Marin and La valse—except Borup-Jørgensen omits the waltz and drowns Vienna under megatons of salt water!
I enjoyed the “animated fantasy,” which tells a wordless story, although the story is open to multiple interpretations. Suffice it to say that it is set at the bottom of the ocean and features a humanoid civilization that experiences Arthur C. Clarke-like transformative events. The fantasy is quite beautiful, and (fortunately) about as far from Walt Disney and Pixar as one could imagine!
If one of the purposes of this release, as I supposed above, was to stimulate interest in this composer, then it is a success, at least for me. The documentary contains excerpts from many of his works, and these snippets left me wanting to hear more. I'm usually not hugely interested in watching instrumental music being performed, but I make an exception for percussion music (perhaps because a percussionist's movements resemble those of a dancer?), and percussion instruments were very important to this composer. One of the most interesting things I learned about Borup-Jørgensen from this documentary was that he took as much care specifying how he wanted phrases to end as he did specifying how he wanted them to begin, and his music is filled with precise and sometimes innovatively expressed directions for performers. I very much like the idea that endings are just as important as beginnings, as endings are preludes to silence, and silence is just a different sort of music.
For me, Marin is the strongest work on the SACD, and I consider the other works to be a very generous bonus, and perhaps music to grow into over time. Among these bonuses, however, the most striking is Pergolato, a work for solo treble recorder, here played by Michala Petri herself. Borup-Jørgensen composed it for her, and it was his final composition—a very touching way to end a career. Nachstück, for solo tenor recorder, also is very fine, and here, it is played by Elisabet Selin, the composer's daughter, and Petri's only private student.
The other recording of Marin is on the Marco Polo/Dacapo label, and features the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leif Segerstam. It is virtually unavailable, although it has been uploaded onto YouTube. It seems excellent too, but I don't hear a compelling reason for preferring it to this new OUR Recordings release. 
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare

DVD: MARIN (Animated Fantasy), Axel (Portrait)
SACD: Selected Highlights
Marin
Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012)
let’s celebrate the magnificence of both this particular product and, especially, the magnificently fertile imagination of Axel Borup-Jørgensen.
Colin Clarke, Fanfare
22 November 2017
 
BORUP-JØRGENSEN MARIN—An Animated Fantasy. AXEL—A Portrait Film  Ÿ  Thomas Søndergård, cond; Danish Natl SO  Ÿ  OUR Recordings 2.110426 (DVD: 58:24 + SACD: 79:29) & Selections by Borup-Jørgensen taken from previous releases
 
This release marks a major step forward in our understanding of Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924—2012), whose music has so impressed me over the course of a number of releases. In Fanfare 40:4, I referred to a disc of his organ music as “a phenomenal release that rewards repeated listening” and placed it firmly on my 2017 Wants List, while a disc of guitar music in Fanfare 41:2 offered further cause for celebration.
Although presented in the order of the animated fantasy MARIN followed by the documentary Axel, one might perhaps suggest the order is reversed in practice. The background is vital in that one gains an appreciation of the importance of Marin the piece in Borup-Jørgensen’s output—it is his most extended orchestral work. The film portrait, AXEL, is both affectionate and informed, a veritable roll-call of Danish luminaries paying tribute to Borup-Jørgensen, from Michala Petri through to Per Nørgård, Ib Nørholm, Bent Sørensen and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen. Most of all, though, we take away an impression of a composer who was above all honest in intent. A quiet man, he was nevertheless uncompromising in what he wanted. Family members are important, too, from the composer’s niece to his daughter, Elisabet Selin (who, along with Edition Borup-Jørgensen, funded the entire project).
Glorious scenery makes up an important part of the imagery we see, as this was an important catalyst for the composer’s imagination, also: the op. 24 piece Sommasvit (1957), for example, was directly inspired by a lake. A description of Borup-Jørgensen as a “lyric expressionist” seems to hit the nail on the head. Insights are shown, too, on Borup-Jørgensen’s compositional processes, and his intensely visual nature. He was an artist, also, and apparently his analysis of Webern Variations was mainly pictorial in nature. So, whilst there is no denying the influence of Darmstadt Modernism on Borup-Jørgensen, one has to admire how he married this strong structural grasp with his lyricism (parallels to Alban Berg spring to mind); only at the very end of his life did he loosen this tightness of construction.
The film of Marin by Allan O. Lückow is inventive and, well, odd. Or, as I put it in my listening notes, “odd, odd, odd.” Basing the imagery on some of the composer’s own drawings, we enter an alternative, submarine universe inhabited by creatures called “marenes”; their doings are laid over Borup-Jørgensen’s score of Marin. This could be a futuristic world, but even that is left open: perhaps it is a parallel one?. Surreal and intensely beautiful, it is a must-watch, but not for repeated viewings. The gold is really in the score itself, and for that we have the orchestral performance on the SACD. Interestingly, when Petri is interviewed in the film AXEL, she invites us, the listeners, to use images to make sense of Borup-Jørgensen’s complex and individual world. Whether the MARIN experiment works I am finding is mainly one of mood: sometimes it seems like genius, sometimes frankly I’d rather be left alone with the music.
Both films were premiered on the same evening at the Danish Filminstitute May 30th 2017.
The SACD opens with Marin minus any images. There is something primal about the opening of Marin (“Sea piece” in Swedish, composed 1953—60). Whilst chthonic grumblings might seem to be an integral and rather hackneyed stock-in-trade of any self-respecting modernist, Borup-Jørgensen seems to take it a step further. Perhaps only Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s similar openings actually evoke these spaces. Premiered in 1970 by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt, the current performance is recorded in DXD format, allowing for maximal detail to come through. After Marin, the composer shied away from large orchestral pieces. Understandable given the sheer number of hours of work that went into this score, but something one regrets, nonetheless. The scoring is often deft and it is clear the composer knew exactly what he wanted. The performance is fabulous, attentive and expert, and climaxes rendered in bright, stunning sound.
Pieces related to the film AXEL appear thereafter, taken from both OUR Recordings and DaCapo catalogs. The focused flow of the Music for Percussion and Viola, op. 18, enhanced by Tim Frederiksen’s Bashmet-index power viola meeting the Percurama Percussion Ensemble under Gert Mortensen, offers during its course an alternative type of primitivism, with rhythms pounding away, their regularity and invitation to be subverted by other instruments.
While Für Cembalo und Orgel, op. 133/2 appears almost spooky in this performance (Mahan Esfahani ad Jens E. Christensen), perhaps part of that comes with it being in the shadow of Marin in the disc playing order. The composer’s daughter, Elisabet Selin, performs the ten-minute Nachtstück, op. 118/1 for tenor recorder of 1987. Use of breath through the instrument and multiphonics are superbly done. A rather harder-edged aspect of Borup-Jørgensen comes across in the pointillist Winter Pieces, op. 30b for piano of 1959, here performed by Erik Kaltoft. Jagged and forbidding, the score plays for only four minutes but nevertheless is actually quite exhausting to listen to. There is little respite.
The solo recorder piece Pergolato comes from that final period where control was being relaxed. The performer has significant choice about various parameters, and is performed here by Petri who, we are told in the documentary, ended up rehearsing for an upcoming performance of the piece with the composer in Petri’s car as it was the only time-slot they had. It is superbly, poignantly performed. And it is not the final offering, either: that is left to the 16-minute Coast of Sirens, op. 100 for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, guitar, piano, percussion and multivoice tape. Written between 1983 and 1985, it appears in a performance by the Aarhus Sinfonietta taken from the DaCapo release Carambolage. The vocal sounds on the tape are like a modernist version of Debussy’s “Sirènes.” There is a hypnotic element here that draws one in: a most beautiful piece.
This whole venture is clearly heart-based. It is also invaluable in our understanding of Axel Borup-Jørgensen. I wonder if OUR Recordings could be persuaded to produce a similar venture on related composers. Several years ago, I was knocked for six by a Proms performance of Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s Incontri by the BBC Symphony under Thomas Dausgaard (it followed Langgaard’s Symphony No. 11, “Ixion,” both works receiving their UK premieres). Maybe Gudmundsen-Holmgreen could be next? In the meantime, let’s celebrate the magnificence of both this particular product and, especially, the magnificently fertile imagination of Axel Borup-Jørgensen.
Colin Clarke, Fanfare

DVD: MARIN (Animated Fantasy), Axel (Portrait)
SACD: Selected Highlights
Marin
Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012)
It is an inventive visual fantasy, mysterious in its ambiguity of image and narrative.
Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare
17 November 2017
Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare

DVD: MARIN (Animated Fantasy), Axel (Portrait)
SACD: Selected Highlights
Marin
Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012)
6 stars review (Maximum)
Peter Dürrfeld, Kristeligt Dagblad, ( Newspaper Denmark)
15 November 2017
6 stars (Full House)
Klogere på Axel
I begyndelsen af 1900-tallet komponerede franskmanden Claude Debussy orkesterværket ”La Mer” (Havet). En inkarneret Wagner-tilhænger sagde engang til mig, at den musik ikke lød som det storladne hav, men ”en tur i badekaret”.
En dansk komponist, Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012) gik 60 år senere i Debussys fodspor, da han skabte ”Marin”, et stort symfonisk digt, inspireret af havet. Det fik sin førsteopførelse i 1970 og anses for at være et af komponistens hovedværker.
Et nyt album fra OUR Recordings, bestående af en dvd og en cd, kan gøre os klogere på Axel – jeg tillader mig at være på fornavn med ham, for Axel” er titlen på den portrætfilm, der udgør den ene af de to film på dvd´en.
Portrætfilm kan ofte være fragmentariske i deres karakter, men når denne er så vellykket, skyldes det formodentlig, at mandens notoriske seriøsitet, hans på én gang elskværdige og grundige, næsten pedantiske væsen, har smittet af på de medvirkende.
Det andet indslag på dvd´en er en animationsfilm over ”Marin”, fascinerende, farverig og helt ordløs. Vi kommer ned under havoverfladen, hvor billederne begynder at spille sammen med Axels musik. Der er sære skikkelser (heldigvis) ingen pausefisk i denne undervandsodyssé. Livet er ikke altid let, kunsten og musikken ej heller.
 Sidstnævnte kan man lytte nærmere til på cd´en, der med en samlet spilletid på over 78 min giver syv eksempler fra Axels lange karriere med ”Marin” som det længste, hvor DR SymfoniOrkestret bliver dirigeret af Thomas Søndergård.
Det tidligste værk er ”Musik for slagtøj og bratsch” opus 18, fra midten af 1950´erne, det nyeste ”Pergolato”, opus 183, hvor Michala Petri excellerer i sin blokfløjtekunst. Fem minutters skønhed af den stringente slags. Axel var ikke manden, der leflede for det store publikum. Peter Dürrfeld, 15. november 2017
Peter Dürrfeld, Kristeligt Dagblad, ( Newspaper Denmark)

DVD: MARIN (Animated Fantasy), Axel (Portrait)
SACD: Selected Highlights
Marin
Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012)
Hommage an Axel Borup-Jørgensen
Remy Franck, Pizzicato, Luxemburg
14 November 2017
Remy Franck, Pizzicato, Luxemburg

DVD: MARIN (Animated Fantasy), Axel (Portrait)
SACD: Selected Highlights
Marin
Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012)
The whispering Gigant (6 STARS (Maximum)
Per Rask Madsen, Klassisk Denmark
27 October 2017
THE WHISPERING GIANT
As a person, Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012) was unassuming, but his abstract, lyrical music could be extremely intense. Despite the fact that his springboard was expressionism and the Darmstadt modernism of the 1950s, it possesses a spontaneity and greater sensuality than the often barren attempts made by his central European colleagues.
Borup-Jørgensen’s daughter, the recorder player Elisabet Selin, and the recording company OUR Recordings have during recent years been making a sterling effort to bring the composer more into the limelight. Snappier composers in a Danish context have tended to command listeners’ attention, but more people ought to allow themselves the pleasure of becoming engrossed in Borup-Jørgensen’s fascinating filigree world. The latest initiative is an excellent place to start, with something as rare as a new animated fiction film created for the major work ‘Marin’ 47 years after its first performance, along with a fine portrait film and, last but not least, a CD which dips into various phases of the composer’s long career.
The gigantic orchestral work ‘Marin’ (1963-70) was desperately wearing on the perfectionist Borup-Jørgensen, who almost threw in the towel several times during its composition. In a both abstract and tone-pictorial way and with an inconceivable wealth of detail the work depicts maritime scenes, and in conjunction with Lückow Film’s animated sequence the music becomes almost unbearably sinister. In the ambitious film we follow a strange sea-folk that has shells instead of legs, and a royal couple who gaze out over a city of seashells and mysterious monoliths; the plot offers plenty of space for one to be co-author, and Borup’s masterpiece in elemental forces acquires a new, exciting calibre in its new surroundings. The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård’s new recording is also included on the accompanying CD, where it is possible to concentrate even more on their masterly rendition.
The portrait film ‘Axel’ provides a fairly all-round view of the composer, including interviews with the man himself, his daughter and various people from the world of music, so that we get to know about his background, his temperament, perfectionism, personal struggles and uncertainty, ideas about aesthetics – and much more besides. A few aspects are perhaps somewhat over-narrated, but in general the portrait gives one a fine picture of the composer Axel Borup-Jørgensen.
With its seven different works from 1956 up to 2011, the CD offers a nuanced picture and makes one even more eager to get to know this highly distinctive music. It is nothing less than fantastic with the both complex and yet immediately comprehensible world of detail we meet in such works as ‘Marin’, the sinfonietta work ‘Coast of Sirens’ and ‘Winter Pieces’ for piano. Per Brask Madsen, Klassisk, October 2017
6 stars (Maximum)
DEN HVISKENDE KÆMPE
Som person var Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012) stilfærdig, men hans abstrakte lyriske musik kunne være noget så intens. Nok tog den afsæt i ekspressionisme og 1950´ernes Darmstadt-modernisme, alligevel er den umiddelbar og mere sanselig end de ofte golde forsøg blandt hans centraleuropæiske kolleger.
Borup-Jørgensen datter, blokfløjtenisten Elisabet Selin, og pladeselskabet OUR Recordings gør i disse år en fornem indsats for at bringe komponisten frem i lyset. Mere slagfærdige komponister i det danske er nok løbet med opmærksomheden, men flere bør unde sig at lade sig opsluge af Borup-Jørgensens fascinerende filigranverden. Det nyeste udspil er et fremragende sted at begynde med noget så sjældent som en ny animeret fiktionsfilm skabt til hovedværket ”Marin” her 47 år efter dets uropførelse, samt en fin portrætfilm og ikke mindst en cd med punktnedslag fra komponistens lange karriere.
Det gigantiske orkesterværk ”Marin” (1963-1970) sled fortvivlende hårdt på perfektionisten Borup-Jørgensen, som nær opgav ævred flere gange under processen. På både abstrakt og tonemalende vis og med en ufattelig detaljerigdom skildre værket havscener, og til Lückow Films animerede sekvenser bliver musikken næsten uudholdelig uhyggelig. I den ambitiøse film følger vi et sælsomt havfolk, der har konkylier i stedet for ben, og dets regentpar, som skuer ud over en by af konkyliehuse og mystiske monolitter; handlingen giver god plads til at man selv kan digte med, og Borup-Jørgensens mesterværk udi elementarkræfter får en ny og spændende kaliber i de nye omgivelser. DR Symfoniorkestret og Thomas Søndergårds nyindspilning er også med på den medfølgende cd, hvor man kan koncentrere sig endnu mere om deres mesterlige fremførelse.
Portrætfilmen ”Axel” kommer et godt stykke rundt om komponisten med interview med manden selv, datteren og forskellige musikfolk, så vi lærer om hans baggrund, gemyt, perfektionisme, personlige kampe og usikkerhed, tanker om æstetik og meget mere. Nok bliver enkelte pointer overfortalt, men portrættet giver som helhed et fint billede af komponisten Axel Borup-Jørgensen.
Cd´en giver med syv forskellige værker fra 1956 og frem til 2011 et nuanceret billede og vækker endnu mere lysten til at lære denne helt særlige musik mere at kende. Det er rent ud sagt fantastisk med denne på samme tid komplekse og umiddelbart forståelige detaljeverden, vi hører i blandt andet ”Marin”, sinfoniettaværket ”Sirenernes Kyst” og ”Winter Pieces” for klaver.Per Brask Madsen, Klassisk, October 2017
Per Rask Madsen, Klassisk Denmark

Michala Petri, recorder
Lars Hannibal, guitar
Garden Party
"Effortless symbiosis of these two veteran collaborators"
Charlotte Gardner, Gramophone, UK
26 October 2017
Gramophone (UK)
With two highly contrasting album releases already under her belt this year (the premiere recording of Sean Hickey´s A Pacifying Weapon, and “Brazilian Landscapes” with guitarist Daniel Murray and percussionist Marilyn Mazur), the only thing you can absolutely guarantee with Michala Petri is whatever she does next she´ll be doing very soon; the rate at which she brings out new recording is nothing short of prolific and every one is entirely different to the last. As is “Garden Party”, a recital of nature-themed “character pieces” recorded with her regular duo partner, the Danish guitarist Lars Hannibal, in celebration of what is now their 25-year performing relationship.
Rather fittingly for a disc honouring this collarborative “home”, the lion`s share of its repertoire also lands Petri solidly on geographical home ground; the Garden Party of its title is a birdsong-inspired suite written in 1992 by her fellow Dane Asger Lund Christiansen, the programme opens with their compatriot Carl Nielsen´s originally-for-piano Humoresque Bagatelles, and there are even two dreamly lilting vignettes by Hannibal himself. In fact, there´s often a faintly dreamy, gentle quality to this programme, even in its perkier moments such as the “Leaping Dance” and “Elves dance” from Grieg´s Five Lyric Pieces (neighbouring Norway being the other Nordic nation gets a good shout). Combine that with the effortless symbiosis of these two veteran collaborators, and the fluidity and naturalness of Petri´s playing in itself, and it´s all too easy simply not to register how virtuoso so much of this music is, even amid the swirling acrobatics of the Presto from Lalo´s Fantaisie Norvégienne or the dizzily whirling figures of Nielsen´s “The Spinning Top”.
Ultimately, I suspect you´ve got to be pretty signed up to the recorder per se, and in the market for something gentle and “mood music”-esque, to genuinely fall for this album. However, it´s beautifully played.
Charlotte Gardner, Gramophone, UK

Michala Petri, recorder
Marilyn Mazur, percussion
Brazilian Landscapes
Anyone who favors things Brazilian will take to it. Or even those who simply love good music.
Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegatemusicreview
23 October 2017
Michala Petri, Marilyn Mazur, Daniel Murray, Brazilian Landscapes
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F-1a-mVH2HE/We3xo42dnEI/AAAAAAAAY_w/PzBBXZ87rDYJY8vUM_WM800WX5ZalahegCLcBGAs/s320/71yqIzR4QLL._SL1000_.jpg
Some music to appreciate fully you have to let breathe inside of you for a space. That is true certainly of Michala Petri, Marilyn Mazur and Daniel Murray's Brazilian Landscapes (Our Recordings 6.220618). It needs to breathe inside your musical mind because it has a beauty made up of unusual parts that in turn form an unusual whole.

To start there is the instrumentation and the musical personalities at hand. Recorder, classical guitar and percussion? That in itself is unusual. And then the peopling of the instruments is special. Marilyn Mazur has been for years a very accomplished and innovative percussionist. She shows on this recording that she is ever more resourceful and brilliant in her use of congas and all sorts of percussive instrumental possibilities. Michala Petri plays a very vibrant and contemporary kind of recorder sounding. In her hands it is an instrument of jazzy provenance, very fluid and timbrally diverse. Classical guitarist Daniel Murray plays in a fully blossomed contemporary manner that takes into account the rich tradition of Brazilian and jazz-oriented possibilities without being unaware an unversed in the state-of-the-art stylistic parameters of the classical guitar art per se.

Put these three together with some very ingenious and moving arrangements that allow for and sound with a jazz-like spontaneity. The interactions of the three within the well-worked out arrangements gives us an unusual sonic depth and presence that plays out fully and meaningfully.

And then there is the repertoire, a good mix of classics and lesser know Brazilian classics and lesser known pieces along with a few nice Daniel Murray originals. The Brazilian derived fare includes songs and works by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Egberto Gismonti, Hermeto Pascoal, Heitor Villa-Lobos, plus Paulo Porto Alegre, Paolo Bellinati, Ernesto Nazareth, and Antonio Ribeiro. All of the material has substance and the Brazilian tinge both rhythmically and otherwise.

The result spans chamber classical structure-form and Brazilian jazz heat and drive.

It is beautiful. It needs a few hearings to encompass and then you are there. That is, if you respond to it like I did. I cannot say that there is anything quite like it. Anyone who favors things Brazilian will take to it. Or even those who simply love good music.

Very recommended. A sleeper but a keeper!
Posted by Grego Applegate Edwards at 7:22 AM https://resources.blogblog.com/img/icon18_edit_allbkg.gif
Labels: brazilian chamber classical-jazz, brazilian music for recorder classical guitar and percussion, michala petri marilyn mazur daniel murray brazilian landscapes gapplegate music review
Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegatemusicreview

DVD: MARIN (Animated Fantasy), Axel (Portrait)
SACD: Selected Highlights
Marin
Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012)
Colourful and Wondrous
Thomas Michelsen, Politiken, Denmark
05 October 2017
New film about a world under the sea fantasises on a symphonic masterpiece by a poetic Danish modernist.
Their faces are enigmatic. Their lower bodies resemble the shells of snails, and we do not know what sort of underwater world they move through on their way towards an enormous yellow plasma tree that creates upthrust and enables them to float weightlessly through the masses of water towards the light.
No one says a word. But the 3D-like animated film ‘Marin’ is a wonderful, beautiful experience. And it is also a visual fantasy based on one of the greatest modernist orchestral pieces in the history of Danish music: the almost 20-minute-long, delicate but also violent symphonic work of the same title, written by the uncompromisingly perfectionistic Danish composer Axel Borup-Jørgensen.
Over the past four years, the record company OUR Recordings has been working on recording Axel Borup-Jørgensen’s music, with ‘Marin’ the flagship of the project.
The film turns Borup-Jørgensen’s marine picture upside-down, so to speak. For, as Thomas Søndergård, who conducts The Danish National Symphony Orchestra on the recording, explains regarding the second film on the DVD – a portrait film about Axel Borup-Jørgensen – the work’s multi-sectioned gleaming piece for strings portrays the surface of the sea, while the deep, sinister hacks from wind instruments and percussion relate what is taking place in the depths. But this is not something that concerns the animation people. They use the music to give the imaginative underwater fantasy a mysterious and disturbing amosphere.
They do not, however, take anything away from Borup-Jørgensen’s work, which, during an earlier DR recording made back in the 1990s while he was still alive, led to his being given the nickname ‘The terrorist of politeness’. Because during the recording he allegedly sat on a trestle ladder with his enormous music score and relentlessly – in his own unassuming, polite way – insisted that details were to be altered.
The anecdote sounds more plausible after listening to musicians interviewed in the portrait film with the title ‘Axel’. They explain that the man was a stickler for detail. But when one hears Michala Petri relate how he was also capable of relaxing the reins and displaying trust when she was to give the first performance of his last work, it warms one’s heart.
Modernism swept in over European musical life after the Second World War with new demands for a previously unheard-of complexity, and Borup-Jørgensen lapped them up. But, as Jan Jacoby, a long-standing music reviewer for Politiken, explains, Borup-Jørgensen is first and formost an expression-oriented composer. Nature and the season are constantely reflected in the titles of his works that OUR Recordings have issued with Michala Petri and other artists. The recordings have been joined by others made by the recording company Dacapo, and if one buys the DVD with the two films, one gets samples of Borup-Jørgensen works into the bargain.
On the DVD issue, the complex ‘Marin’ score can be experienced in either stereo, surround 5.1 or the absolutely luscious sound format DXD, which allows epicures to appreciate just how well-arranged every tiniest detail is in the filigree-fine yet also natural-forces-inspired and dramatic work.
Axel Borup-Jørgensen did not make things easy. Either for himself or his musicians. That his oeuvre is brought into focus after his death is a feat that perhaps could not be carried out until now that he is no longer with us. His strangely obsessive music deserves it. 
Farverigt og forunderligt
Ny film om verden under havet fabulerer over symfonisk mesterværk af lyrisk dansk modernist.
Deres ansigter er gådefulde. Deres underkroppe ligner sneglehuse, og vi ved ikke hvad det er for en undervandsverden, de bevæger sig igennem på deres vej hen imod et enormt gult plasmatræ, der skaber opdrift og lader dem svæve vægtløse gennem vandmasserne, op mod lyset.
Ingen mæler et ord. Men den 3D-agtige animationsfilm ”Marin” er en forunderlig og smuk oplevelse. Og så er den en visuel fantasi over et af de største modernistiske orkesterstykker i dansk musikhistorie: det knap 20 minutter lange delikate, men også voldsomme symfoniske værk med samme titel skrevet af den kompromisløst perfektionistiske danske komponist Axel Borup-Jørgensen.
Gennem de seneste fire år har pladeselskabet OUR Recordings arbejdet med at indspille Axel Borup-Jørgensens musik, og ”Marin” er flagskibet i projektet.
Filmen vender for så vidt Borup-Jørgensens havmaleri på hovedet. For som dirigenten Thomas Søndergård, der leder DR SymfoniOrkestret på indspilningen, forklarer på den anden nye film på dvd´en- en portrætfilm om Axel Borup-Jørgensen- forestiller værkets mangedelte skinnende strygersats havoverfladen, mens de dybe uhyggelige hug fra blæsere og slagtøj fortæller, hvad der sker i dybet. Men det har animationsfolkene ikke taget sig af. De bruger musikken til at give den fabulerer undervandsfantasi et mystisk og foruroligende udtryk.
Det tager imidlertid ikke noget fra Borup-Jørgensens værk, der under en tidligere DR-indspilning tilbage i 1990´erne, mens han endnu levede, skaffede ham øgenavnet ”Høflighedsterroisten”. Fordi han under indspilningen efter sigende sad på en wienerstige med det enorme partitur og blev ved og ved med - på sin egen stilfærdige, høflige måde – at bede om, at detaljer blev lavet om.
Anekdoten sandsynliggøres af musikere, der interviewes i portrætfilmen med titlen ”Axel”. De forklarer, at manden var en pernittengryn. Men når man hører Michala Petri fortælle om, hvordan han også kunne slippe tøjlerne og vise tillid, da hun skulle uropføre hans sidste værk, bliver man varm om hjertet.
Modernismen skyllede ind over europæisk musikliv efter Anden Verdenskrig med nye krav om hidtil uhørt kompleksitet, og Borup-Jørgensen sugede til sig. Men som mangeårige musikanmelder ved Politiken Jan Jacoby forklarer i portrætfilmen, var Borup-Jørgensen først og fremmest udtyksorienteret lyriker. Naturen og årstiderne spejler sig konstant i titlerne på hans værker, som OUR Recordings har udgivet med Michala Petri og andre kunstnere. Indspilningerne har fået selskab af udgivelser fra pladeselskaber Dacapo, og køber man dvd´en med de 2 film, får man smagsprøver på Borup-Jørgensen-værker med i købet.
På dvd-udgivelsen kan det komplekse ”Marin”-partitur opleves i både stereo, surround 5.1 og det alvorligt lækre lydformat DXD, der lader feinschmeckere nyde, hvor veltilrettelagt hver eneste lille detalje er i det filigranfine, men samtidig naturkraftinspirerede og dramatiske værk.
Axel Borup-Jørgensen gjorde ikke tingene nemme. Hverken for sig selv eller for sine musikere. At hans æuvre efter hans død bringes i fokus, er en bedrift, der måske faktisk først kunne udføres nu, hvor han ikke er her mere. Hans sælsomt besættende musik fortjener det. (4 Stars)
Thomas Michelsen, Politiken, Denmark

Michala Petri, recorder
Marilyn Mazur, percussion
Brazilian Landscapes
Refinement and inventiveness in "Brazilian Landscapes"
Camila Frésca, Concerto Brazil
28 September 2017
Refinamento e inventividade em “Brazilian Landscapes”

Um disco de música instrumental brasileira para a formação de flauta doce, percussão e violão. Assim é Brazilian Landscapes, gravado em dezembro de 2016, em Copenhagen, e que chega agora ao mercado brasileiro. O trabalho reúne Michala Petri, flautista dinamarquesa que possui prestigiada carreira internacional como solista e camerista; a percussionista e compositora norte-americana Marilyn Mazur, parceira de grandes nomes do jazz como Miles Davis; e o excelente violonista brasileiro Daniel Murray. A ideia do CD é do também violonista e produtor Lars Hannibal, que conheceu Murray em 2014, em Viena, durante a Classical Next. “Seu toque pessoal e arrojado chamou minha atenção. Imediatamente pensei na possibilidade de combinar o violão do Daniel com a maneira de tocar da Michala, além disso complementada com a incrível sensibilidade e inventividade de Marilyn Manzur, que eu sempre admirei em muitos outros trabalhos. Nos anos seguintes nos encontramos algumas vezes na Dinamarca e fomos amadurecendo este projeto tão especial”, escreve ele no livreto que acompanha o disco.
http://concerto.com.br/imagens/0-daniel_murray_foto_gal_-opido_gde.jpg
Daniel Murray [Divulgação / Gal Oppido]
Tem razão Lars Hannibal em se impressionar com Daniel Murray. O jovem violonista, compositor e arranjador é um dos grandes nomes do violão brasileiro de sua geração. Ex-aluno de Edelton Gloeden e Paulo Porto Alegre, aos 15 anos conquistou o segundo lugar no Concours Internacional de Guitarre de Trédrez-Locquemeau (França). Desde então, sua atividade como solista e camerista só tem se incrementado. Daniel possui uma carreira intensa e tem um duo com Paulo Porto Alegre, é integrante do Trio Opus 12 e do Quarteto Tau. Da mesma forma, sua curiosidade em explorar diferentes repertórios já o levou a gravar música contemporânea (ele se especializou em técnicas estendidas para o violão), discos autorais e outro dedicado a Tom Jobim, com arranjos próprios. Isso sem falar nos trabalhos de câmara e colaborações com outros artistas. Daniel, aliás, é um ótimo arranjador, como fica evidente neste disco, do qual é autor de todos os arranjos.
“Nas nossas divagações passeamos por muitos lugares procurando peças que tivessem em comum a mesma expressão musical, tanto brasileira como clássica europeia”, afirma Lars Hannibal sobre a pesquisa para seleção do repertório do disco. “Como músico, o que mais me fascinou na música brasileira foi a enorme variedade de ritmos e expressões que você não acha nem no jazz nem na música clássica da Europa”, completa. Nas peças selecionadas para o disco, pode se perceber algumas vertentes da composição brasileira. Uma delas é a de compositores que são ao mesmo tempo mestres do violão brasileiro: Paulo Porto Alegre, cuja peça Sonhos, em duas versões, abre e fecha o disco; Paulo Belinatti, com Jongo e Pingue-Pongue; e o próprio Daniel Murray, autor de Cauteloso e de Canção e dança. Há também mestres da música instrumental brasileira: de Hermeto Pascoal é a lúdica São Jorge; de Egberto Gismonti, um compositor muito apreciado pelos violonistas, temos o frevo Karatê e a linda A fala da paixão; um nome tanto inusitado na seleção é o de Ernesto Nazareth, com a deliciosa Fon-fon numa excelente versão. Há ainda dois dos maiores nomes da música brasileira: na seara popular, Tom Jobim, que comparece com Olha Maria, em sensível leitura para flauta e violão; e, de Villa-Lobos, temos os Choros nºs 2 e 5. Completa o disco as Oito miniaturas, de Antonio Ribeiro. Se o compositor mineiro não se encaixa exatamente em nenhuma das categorias anteriores, sua música dialoga perfeitamente com o restante do repertório. As peças são originais para piano, mas aqui parecem feitas desde sempre para flauta e violão – bem como estão longe de soar um eruditismo acadêmico, apresentando-se em perfeita combinação com as demais obras do disco.
Brazlilian Landscapes é um disco feito com um cuidado evidente, que vai da seleção das peças, passa pela gravação e pelo acabamento gráfico dos materiais, chegando aos arranjos e à interpretação. A sonoridade é bonita e original, e o resultado geral, bastante inventivo.  (28/9/2017) Por Camila Frésca

English Translation
Refinement and inventiveness in "Brazilian Landscapes" (9/28/2017) By Camila Frésca

A disc of Brazilian instrumental music for the formation of flute, percussion and guitar. So is Brazilian Landscapes, recorded in December 2016, in Copenhagen, and that now comes out on the Brazilian market. The work includes Michala Petri, a Danish flutist who has a prestigious international career as a soloist and chamber musician; the American percussionist and composer Marilyn Mazur, a partner of jazz greats like Miles Davis; and the excellent Brazilian guitarist Daniel Murray. The idea for the CD is also from guitarist and producer Lars Hannibal, who met Murray in 2014 in Vienna during Classical Next. "His bold, personal touch caught my eye. I immediately thought of combining Daniel's guitar with Michala's playing style, complemented by the incredible sensitivity and inventiveness of Marilyn Manzur, whom I have always admired in many other works. In the following years we met a few times in Denmark and we have been maturing this very special project, "he writes in the booklet that accompanies the album.

Lars Hannibal is right to be impressed with Daniel Murray. The young guitarist, composer and arranger is one of the great names of the Brazilian guitar of his generation. Former student of Edelton Gloeden and Paulo Porto Alegre, at age 15, he won second place at the International Guitar Competition of Trédrez-Locquemeau (France). Since then, his activity as soloist and camerista has only increased. Daniel has an intense career and has a duo with Paulo Porto Alegre, is a member of the Trio Opus 12 and the Tau Quartet. Likewise, his curiosity in exploring different repertoires has already led him to record contemporary music (he specialized in extended guitar techniques), record albums and another dedicated to Tom Jobim, with his own arrangements. Not to mention the camera work and collaborations with other artists. Daniel, by the way, is a great arranger, as is evident in this album, of which he is the author of all the arrangements.

"In our ramblings we went through many places looking for pieces that had the same musical expression, both Brazilian and European, in common," says Lars Hannibal on the research for selection of the disc repertoire. "As a musician, what fascinated me most about Brazilian music was the enormous variety of rhythms and expressions that you do not find in jazz or classical music in Europe," he adds. In the pieces selected for the album, one can perceive some aspects of the Brazilian composition. One of them is that of composers who are at the same time masters of the Brazilian guitar: Paulo Porto Alegre, whose piece Dreams, in two versions, opens and closes the disc; Paulo Belinatti, with "Jongo" and "Pingue-Pongue"; and Daniel Murray himself, author of "Cauteloso" and "Canção e Dança". There are also masters of Brazilian instrumental music: Hermeto Pascoal, "São Jorge"; Egberto Gismonti, a composer very appreciated by the guitarists, "frevo", "Karate" and beautiful "A Fala da Paixão"T; a name so unusual in the selection is Ernesto Nazareth, with the delicious "Fon-fon" in an excellent version. There are also two of the biggest names in Brazilian music: Tom Jobim, who attends Olha Maria, in a sensitive reading for flute and guitar; and from Villa-Lobos, we have Choros Nos. 2 and 5. Complete the disc the Eight miniatures, by Antonio Ribeiro. If the composer from Minas does not fit exactly into any of the previous categories, his music dialogues perfectly with the rest of the repertoire. The pieces are original for piano, but here they seem to have been made for flute and guitar ever since - as well as being far from sounding scholarly scholarship, presenting itself in perfect combination with the other works of the disc. Brazililian Landscapes is an album made with an obvious care, that goes from the selection of the pieces, through the recording and the graphic finishing of the materials, arriving at the arrangements and the interpretation. The sound is beautiful and original, and the overall the result is quite inventive. (9/28/2017) By Camila Frésca
 
Camila Frésca, Concerto Brazil

Michala Petri, recorder
Lars Hannibal, guitar
Garden Party
Et musikalsk sølvbryllup
Peter Dürrfeld, Kristeligt Dagblad
16 September 2017
I 1992 holdt guitaristen Lars Hannibal og blokfløjtevirtuosen Michala Petri deres første udenlandskoncert i klostret La Cartuja de Cazalla de la Sierra i Andalusien, og siden har parret turneret over stort set hele kloden og givet ufattelige 1.500 koncerter med et vidtspændende repertoire – lige fra barok over den klassiske og romantisk periode til nutidige værker, der er komponeret specielt til dem.
Det er nok værd at fejre – og det sker på smukkeste vis med en cd, der har fået titlen ”Garden Party” efter en suite, som den danske cellist og komponist Asger Lund Christiansen skrev i 1992, og som her er indspillet for første gang.
Inspirationen fra fuglestemmer fremgår af de seks titler, men her er bestemt også noget at komme efter for os ikke-ornitologer.
Det nordiske spiller en betydelig rolle på jubilæumsskiven.Carl Nielsen er repræsenteret med sine ”humoresques bagatelles”, oprindeligt skrevet for klaver i midten af 1890érne, mens man af Edvard Grieg får fem lyriske stykker, tydeligt inspireret af norsk folkemusik.
Edouard Lalo hører også hjemme i den kategori (selv om han er franskmand med spanske aner), for i 1878 komponerede han den indtagende tresatsede ”Fantasie Norvégienne”.
Lars Hannibal har begået to af numrene ”Dreams” og den stemningsfulde ”Sunset Dance”, begge revideret i 2015. Det fyldige program rundes af med Ge Xie Mei Ling . det lyder og er kinesisk.
En herlig cd i OUR Recordings´ stilsikre layout og fortræffelige lyd.
Peter Dürrfeld, Kristeligt Dagblad

Michala Petri, recorder
Lars Hannibal, guitar
Garden Party
4 star review, Adaptions and original pieces for this superb recorder-guitar duo
BBC Music Magazine
15 Septeember 2017
Adaptions and original pieces for this superb recorder-guitar duo – the disc´s jazzy title suite evoking the calls of three birds is especially charming.
BBC Music Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Marilyn Mazur, percussion
Brazilian Landscapes
recorder superstar Michala Petri is always a pleasure
James Manheim, AllMusic (US)
14 September 2017
All Music (USA)
An album of Brazilian recorder music perhaps seems unacceptably obscure, but recorder superstar Michala Petri is always a pleasure, and this little collection offers many charming moments. Much of the music was arranged from piano pieces or other instruments, but there are a few recorder originals, and one work, the delightful Pingue-Pongeu of Paulo Bellinati is for any pair of instruments. The key of the album´s success is that Petri modulates the sound of her instrument to produce a seemingly artless sound that fits the folklike nature of most of the melodies here. A few pieces call for virtuoso effects, but for the most part the focus is on Petri´s singing tone. Several of the Brazilian giants, including songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim and composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, are included. The bulk of the music is semi-popular, following in the lines of thoughts Villa-Lobos laid down. Percussion is added on some of the more rhythmic numbers (and most of them are rhythmic). Sample Cauteloso by Daniel Murray, purely Brazilian despite of the name, who is a classic example of the choro genre first exploited by Villa-Lobos decades earlier, just slightly expanded chromatically. The OUR Recordings engineering team achieves impressive results with the tricky recorder-and-guitar duos. Recommended. 
James Manheim, AllMusic (US)

Michala Petri, recorder
Jean Thorel, conductor
A Pacifying Weapon [LP]
Sean Hickey
A New lokk at the concerto
Kathleen McGowan, I Care if you Listen,
09 September 2017
Music relies on listeners’ expectations to present its material—a kind of portable structure that goes from piece to piece, and changes over time. Composers and performers either meet or subvert those expectations in the music that they write. Some do so intentionally, while others do not. Composers and performers in the twenty-first century make it their business to challenge the forms and functions of the classical canon, and generally give every norm they encounter a new voice. A Pacifying Weapon (OUR Recordings) does this with great success, striking an excellent balance between tradition and innovation by writing in established forms for uncommon combinations of instruments without adding electronic elements. The recorder is the unquestioned star of this album, and soloist Michala Petri. has a clear command of both its technique and of composer Sean Hickeys vision for its more modern voice. She also carries the more traditional Concertino for Recorder and Strings by Thomas Clausen with grace and poise.
Petri commissioned the title composition, A Pacifying Weapon, in 2015. Though not titled as a concerto, Hickey wrote it as such and used it to “wrestle with the concerto tradition and its complications.” He kept many of the structures that make a concerto recognizable: three distinct movements presented in a fast-slow-fast succession; alternating between solo instrument and accompaniment ensemble passages. Hickey wrote for the Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDMA) winds as a constantly fluctuating chamber group. His accompaniment has a clear yet subtle influence from film music: a chord here, a specific orchestration there; never a direct quote. The brass is limited to section chorales that, even when quiet, sound enormous. The result is atmospheric, and about as far from traditional recorder music as one might get.
This mix of exposed passages and chamber writing in the accompaniment creates the kind of space the solo recorder needs, and this is also where Hickey departs from the traditional concerto structure. The first movement is more of a tone poem with a significant soloist. The soloist’s virtuosity is excellent–Petri plays clearly and confidently in long technical passages (obligatory, for a concerto), but doesn’t default to “noodling” in cadenza and unaccompanied passages. She has an obvious command of the recorder’s capabilities beyond notes per minute, and it’s gratifying to listen to an artist explore the virtuosity of simplicity as well as of technicality. Particularly in the second movement, Hickey writes in sustained tones that Petri has to keep interesting throughout, and this requires a less-celebrated brand of artistry.
The third movement is where Hickey really puts the recorder and the concerto form through their respective paces. Instead of a more traditional show piece, the third movement is a character study. The brass chorales are still traditional, but they’ve traded their earlier sedateness for an angular, urgent tension. The recorder is capricious—like a character out of Shakespeare, popping in and out of the scenery. The use of bass recorder in the middle section is a departure from everything else so far. It alternates between the ethereal and the striking, with an intensity that recalls Feldman and Boulez. The final fast section calls back to the recorder as a folk instrument. The accompanying percussion and winds are short, light, and closely orchestrated—punctuation for the soloist’s final remarks.
Thomas Clausen´s Concertino for Recorder and Strings provides a much more traditional context for the recorder. Clausen’s solo writing owes much to clarinet repertoire, providing a very different role for Petri to play than those in in A Pacifying Weapon. The middle section could be Baroque, but for its more modern benefits (like extra cellos and basses). The final presto owes many of its mannerisms to Mozart and Rossini, though in a contemporary landscape. Whether these are conscious allusions by the composer or whether he is simply well-schooled in classical repertoire is hard to tell. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. It is light, humorous, exciting, and a technical tour de force—an excellent counterpoint to Hickey’s previous piece.
The album in total strikes an excellent balance of fulfilling and subverting its listeners expectations, both of the recorder and of the concerto. Having a period instrument play in a contemporary context breaks the recorder’s norm and adds a new dimension to its largely historical repertoire. The music, the soloist, and the student musicians of the RDAM are all genuinely impressive, and they’ve produced an excellent recording worth regularly revisiting. Kathleen McGowan, 2017 September 7th
 
 
Kathleen McGowan, I Care if you Listen,

Michala Petri, recorder
Lars Hannibal, guitar
Garden Party
Highly recommenden (4½ Star out of 5
James Mannheim, AllMusic (US
08 September 2017
4½ star out of 5
The great Danish recorder player Michala Petri, having inspired a generation of younger virtuosos, has turned in the later part of her career to recordings of a personal kind, issued on a label of her own distributed by Naxos. Here, together with guitarist and frequent concert partner Lars Hannibal, she explores the character piece: not in itself a personal genre, but Petri explains in an elegant note how such pieces help her connect with new audiences, an enterprise to which the recorder is well suited. To this end she offers delightful miniatures, arranged from piano pieces by Nielsen and Grieg; a lovely and all-but-unknown Fantaisie Norvégienne by Lalo that exists in various versions (sample these and you may be sold on the spot), and some contemporary pieces that fit the mood, as well as a Chinese finale. Throughout, Petri offers the mix of clarity and tonal precision (so far removed from the whining recorders of the first wave of the instrument's revival during the LP era) and warmth that has had her setting the standard for a while now. Highly recommended. 
James Mannheim, AllMusic (US

Michala Petri, recorder
Lars Hannibal, guitar
Garden Party
5 Star review "dreamlike realm of peace and pleasure".
Remy Franck, Pizzicato, Luxemburg
07 September 2017
Die entspannte Musikalität dieser CD garantiert einen uneingeschränkten Genuss. Mit der Produktion haben die beiden Interpreten Michala Petri und Lars Hannibal nicht nur ihrem Publikum eine Freude gemacht, sondern auch sich selber.
Sie feiern damit den 25. Geburtstag ihres Duos, dessen Aktivitäten im Sommer 1992 im Kloster ‘La Cartuja de la Sierra’ in Andalusien begannen. Seither haben die beiden über 1.500 Konzerte gegeben.
Ihre ‘Garden Party’ ist ein gelungener Mix aus ruhigen und etwas virtuoseren Stücken, mit viel Nostalgie und wunderbar reflektiven Momenten. Technisch ist ganz besonders das Spiel von Michala Petri immer wieder von stupender Qualität in der Atemführung, der Dynamik, der Färbung und der Schattierung. Auch Lars Hannibal ist auf seiner Gitarre ein souveräner Interpret. Beide überzeugen durch eine perfekte Geschmackssicherheit und ein musikalisches Niveau, das die Musik veredelt und in eine vollendet kommunikative Form bringt. Selbst in der simpelsten Musik erreichen die Interpreten eine Stimmigkeit, die beim Hörer zusammen mit den unaufgeregten Schönheiten des Programms rezeptiv-harmonische Qualitäten entfaltet, die zu einem entspannten Wegdriften der Wahrnehmung führt, sofern er zu dieser Kulturtechnik noch fähig ist.
In celebration of their 25th anniversary, Michala Petri and Lars Hannibal have selected a very special program of mostly calm and reflective music, wonderfully played. The relaxed beauty of the performances allows the listener to drift off in the dreamlike realm of peace and pleasure.
Remy Franck, Pizzicato, Luxemburg

Michala Petri, recorder
Jean Thorel, conductor
A Pacifying Weapon [LP]
Sean Hickey
A Pacifying Weapon: A New Look at the Concerto
Kathleen Mc Gowan, I care if you Listen
07 September 2017

Michala Petri, recorder
Marilyn Mazur, percussion
Brazilian Landscapes
4 out of 5 stars
Alex Robinson, Songlines UK
04 September 2017
Brazil´s modern classical music, given the focus it deserves.
This decidedly erudite CD is like a classically tinged Codona trio album for the new millennium. Like Don Cherry and Nana Vasconcelos´s Codana, Brazilian Landscapes witnesses an encounter of strings, wind and percussion – provided by the masterful classical guitar of Brazilian Daniel Murray, Denmark´s foremost recorder player Michala Petri and virtuoso New York percussionist Marilyn Mazur. The trio devote themselves entirely to a repertory of modern Brazilian classical compositions. Which include Villa-Lobos`” Chôros No 5”, the hauntingly melancholic and modal “ Olha Maria by Tom Jobim, the staccato and joyful frevo “Karate” by jazz composer Egberto Gismonti, tunes by Hermeto Pascoal and Antônio Robeiro, and original material by Daniel Murray himself.
Those looking for soothing South American sounds will likely be disappointed by this release. Brazilian is one for lovers of serious music, who will find a wealth of exquisitely played, rich, sophisticated pieces that never grate or jar in their virtuosity or experimentalism but that are stimulating enough for the highest of brows.
Alex Robinson, Songlines UK
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2200 Copenhagen N
Denmark
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E-mail: hannibal@michalapetri.com
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