BENNETT: Celebration. Concerto for Marimba and Chamber Orchestra. Symphony
No. 3. Summer Music for Flute and Piano. Sinfonietta.
Music of Pieter Campo, J. S. Badh, Sieg, Prima, Ahlert, Schein, Ward,
Lully, and Boismortier
MENDELSSOHN: Variations Concertantes in D, Op. 7. Sonata No. 1
in B flat, Op. 45. Romance sans paroles in D, Op. 109. Assai tranquillo
in B miknor.
Sonata No. 2 in D, Op. 58.
British composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012) was one of the most versatile musicians, known for his movie and TV scores (including Far From the Madding Crowd, Murder on the Orient Express, Four Weddings and a Funeral), but he also wrote "concert" music. This terrific new Chandos disk, identified as Volume I, offers a wide selection of Bennett's concert music. It opens g with Celebration, a joyous work commissioned in 1991 for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, which at the time was led by another Britisher, Barry Tuckwell, master of the French horn. We also have a brilliant Marimba Concerto composed in 1988 for master percussionist William Moersch, here played by Colin Currie. Three other works probably will also be new to most listeners, Symphony No. 3, Sinfonietta, and the premiere recording of Summer Music in an arrangement for small orchestra. The superb BBC Scottish Symphonhy obviously enbjoys this music under the lively direction of John Wilwon. I The recordings were made Glasgow's City Halls May 31 - June 2, 2017. Sound is excellent although not particularly "surround." We look forward to further issues in this series.
The Flanders Recorder Quartet consists of Bart Spanhove, Joris Van Goethem, Paul Van Loey, and Tom Beets. Much of the music requires five voices, so joining the Quartet is Saskia Colleen. Founded in 1987, the quartet is recognized as a leader in the world of the instrument and has given countless concerts, has been featured at early music festivals, and made a number of acclaimed recordings. It seems 2018 will be their final year. This intriguing SACD offers their performances of a range of music called an anthology of 500 years of music history. Music ranges from Johann Hermann Schein and John Ward to Fred E. Alert and Louis Prima. Program notes give detailed information about the music and identifies the 29 instruments used. The varied sounds of the instruments will surprise many listeners, and the recording their sounds to perfection.
Young cellist Christian Poltéra has been praised on this site for his recordings of concertos of Ligeti (REVIEW), and Shostakovich and Martinu (REVIEW) .Now he offers this delightful disk of most of the major works for his instrument by Mendelssohn including the two sonatas. Recordings were made in Germany's Reitstadel Neumarkt in August 2016 and, as usual, the BIS engineers have provided a rich, satisfying sonic picture.
R.E.B. (December 2017)