ANDRIESSEN: Concerto for Organ and Orchestra. BADINGS:
Concerto for Harp and Small Orchestra. ORTHEL: Scherzo No. 2 for
Orchestra. FLOTHUIS: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra
This is part of the Donemus "Jubilee Series" featuring national orchestras and ensembles of the Netherlands other than the "majors" -- the Royal Concertgebouw, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Hague Residentie orchestras. It's strange that the CD pamphlet doesn't give any information about the Brabant Orchestra or its conductor, Marc Soustrot, who has made a number of recordings with Loire Philharmonic for the Pierre Verany label as well as conducting EMI's Fra Diavolo, with the Monte Carlo Orchestra. The Brabant orchestra is excellent, with particular kudos to their horn section for negotiating so successfully the treacherous horn solos in the Flothius concerto.
This is an intriguing collection primarily of concertos, the one exception being Léon Orthel's Scherzo No. 2, Op. 38. Orthel (1905-1985) wrote this in 1957. It is a heavy-handed "scherzo" surely not what one would expect from the title. The composer said the figure of Hieronymus Bosch "loomed before me during the process of composing....it is an indication that this scherzo is no laughing matter." CD notes describe it as a "hideous grimace" and they are correct.
Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981) was a fine
organist as well as recognized
composer. He wrote his Organ Concerto in 1950; the premiere was that year
with the composer as soloist with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra
conducted by Pierre Monteux. Many years ago I heard a transcription of
this; it is included
Concertgebouw Anthology series Volume I). There
two "movements" to
15-minute concerto, an opening "Introduction and Passacaglia", followed
lively "Toccata." (Note: the Monteux performance is included
Concertgebouw Anthology series Volume I).
The Flute Concerto, Op. 19 by Marius Flothuis (b. 1914) was conceived in 1944 when the composer was imprisoned by the Germans at an internment camp. It was completed the following year and dedicated to Everard van Royen who played the premiere in Utrecht in December 1945. In spite of the dire circumstances of its composition, the 21-minute concerto is a pleasant work replete with dances, semi-comic interludes, much display work for the soloist, and imaginative scoring -- a relatively small orchestra, using four timpani that are important through the music. Raymond Delnoye is the first-class soloist.
Sonic quality is consistently high in all four works. All were recorded by the Dutch Radio, the Badings before an audience. These are all premiere commercial recordings highly recommended for those looking for music not available elsewhere.
R.E.B. (Aug. 2001)