ANTHONY NEWMAN (b.1941): Concerto for Recorder, Harpsichord and Strings (Anthony Newman [harpsichord], Nordic String Quartet), STEVEN STUCKY (1949-2016): Etudes for Recorder and Orchestra (Danish National Symphony Orchestra; Lan Shui), ROBERTO SIERRA (b.1953): Prelude, Habanera and Perpetual Motion for Recorder and Orchestra (Tivoli Copenhagen Philharmonic; Alexander Shelley), SEAN HICKEY (b.1970): A Pacifying Weapon for Recorder, Winds, Brass, Percussion and Harp (Royal Danish Academy of Music Concert Band; Jean Thorel).
Catalogue Number: 05U064
Label: OUR Recordings
Description: This attractive and surprisingly varied disc gives us the American instalment of the enterprising Michala Petri's ongoing quest to enhance and enlarge the repertoire for her instrument - which has so far resulted in some 150 new works. All four concerti are tonal, some more obviously than others, and all are very approachable. Sierra's first two movements are sultry and atmospheric, redolent of dusk in the tropical heat, while the Perpetual Motion has a carnival atmosphere, infused with Latin rhythms and instrumentation. Stucky's concerto puts the soloist through her paces, in demanding 'etudes' exploring " Scales, Glides, and Arpeggios" with much instrumental and orchestral ingenuity and invention. Newman's neo-baroque concerto is a delight, simultaneously paying tribute to and affectionately tweaking the conventions of the Baroque recorder concerto. Hickey pits the recorder family - the 'Pacifying Weapon' of the title - against a big, bold and potentially overwhelming ensemble of winds, brass and percussion. By alternating statements between soloist and orchestra, or forcing the latter into balanced chamber music dialogues, the recorders do manage to survive these risky confrontations, acting as a pacifying influence in a series of tableaux forming an ambiguous parable for our times. Michala Petri (recorder).