Royal Recorder Concertos, Review, WDR3 TonArt, Jan Ritterstaedt, DE
Elegant melody lines combined with virtuosic figurations … this is how Johann Gottlieb Graun begins his double concerto for recorder and violin. Light and springy Arte dei Suonatori prepares the rhythmic and harmonic foundation for both soloists. The recorder soloist, Bolette Roed, can in particular exploit her full virtuosic potential. In andante from a Graupner concerto, she consciously produces a cantabile sound clearly inspired by the human voice.
Not only technically does Bolette Roed stand the distance: she stretches the melodic lines to a great extent, and convincingly she increases the sound of her instrument, thus increasing the intensity of the movement.
Here is a marvelous and delightful CD, that especially thanks to the excellent soloist, is very rewarding to listen to.”The project is the brainchild of recorder soloist Bolette, whose playing is cleanly articulated and stylish (…) and the well-judged primus inter pares balance with the ever-excellent Polish strings players eloquently reflects the fact.”
Royal Recorder Concertos
Royal Recorder Concertos er blevet rosende anmeldt af flere nationale og internationale aviser og magasiner.
“D’emblée, l’on est séduit par l’opulence du son, qui traduit une générosité de jeu et une vivacité d’interprétation qui captivent dès la première plage.” Pizzicato
Eine vom Repertoirewert her sehr reizvolle und vor allem dank der hervorragenden Solistin sehr hörenswerte CD! WDR3 TonArt (Radio)
“Bolette Roed er en af vore største virtuoser på blokfløjte… Verdenspremieren på en anonym dansesuite til prinsesse Charlotte Amalie vil være et interessant lyt for mangen en barokelsker.” Berlingske Tidende
“Ren nydelse.” Flensborg Avis
Lovingly crafted arrangements
The Classical Reveiwer, January 12, 2014
Lovingly crafted arrangements and performances from recorder, saxophone and percussion trio, Alpha on a new release from Dacapo of music by Poul Ruders, Per Nørgård, Hans Abrahamsen and Bent Sørensen…
In the first part of Poul Ruders’ Star Prelude and Love Fugue (1990) arr. Alpha, the Prelude has a repeated percussion motif before the recorder slowly joins, followed by the saxophone in this unashamedly minimalist piece. As it builds, crashing percussion point up the drama and texture so that there is no lack of interest. The saxophone opens Love Fugue, soon joined by percussion with the recorder subtly adding to the sound. This is a rhythmic piece, quiet raunchy at times and full of interest.
These players bring a strange but intoxicating combination to these cleverly arranged pieces.
Per Nørgård’s Heyday’s Night (1981, rev.1982) arr. Alpha opens with xylophone and saxophone before the recorder soon joins in this rhythmically shifting piece where the harmony between the recorder and saxophone is really attractive. Both Bolette Roed and Peter Navarro-Alonso produce some great textures with brilliant percussion playing from David Hildebrandt. This is a highly attractive work from a composer that can always be relied on to produce a work of substance and interest. As the music progresses there are lovely sonorities and a riotous coda in this finely arranged work.
Hans Abrahamsen’s – Flowersongs (1973) arr. Alpha also opens with a repeated motif for the players featuring xylophone, with the recorder and saxophone, before a flourish from them that builds to a pitch, higher and higher, as though depicting birds. Suddenly the music drops to a Japanese style repeated motif that is allowed to develop, albeit slowly. There are subtle rhythmic variations and development of texture. A sudden outburst on the saxophone and recorder heralds a descending theme before a passage with strange percussion sounds with recorder and saxophone in a rather static, mesmeric passage. The music becomes rather spiky and abrasive towards the end with a rising motif and sharp penetrating sounds that lead to a sudden end.
This is a fascinating work, brilliantly played.
Hans Abrahamsen – Schnee, Canon 2A: Lustig Spielend, aber nicht zu lustig, immer ein bißchen melancholisch (2008) arr. Alpha has a rhythmic opening with recorder and hand drums creating some unusual sounds. Short saxophone interventions subtly appear in the texture as the motif is repeated with breathy staccato notes. The rhythms vary occasionally, but a repetitive nature is continued, interrupted by the occasional quiet, short interlude. Several whistle blows occur part way through but the repetitive rhythms continue to the end. I am not sure that the subtle shifts of colour and rhythm are enough to lift this music from its merely repetitive nature.
Recorder and saxophone open Bent Sørensen’s Looking on Darkness (2000) arr. Peter Navarro-Alonso in a bright flowing theme that dances around before changing to a slower section when the vibraphone enters in a haunting passage with strange sounds form the recorder and saxophone. Brief outbursts, rich and ripe sounding, from the saxophone occur as the music tends towards a jazzy nature with xylophone and vibraphone adding a texture. A quiet section for recorder and saxophone has mournful theme before a livelier section arrives that peters out to end.
Poul Ruders’ Carnival (1980) arr. Alpha has a rhythmic opening with strange saxophone sounds using staccato breaths with percussion, then sharp recorder notes in this oddly chugging music that in a way creates the sound and hissing of a steam locomotive. There are some amazing effects from both wind instruments with occasional rhythmic changes, though the basic rhythm returns before a strange hushed coda.
Alpha return to Per Nørgård to end this disc with his Isternia (1979) arr. Peter Navarro-Alonso. It opens quietly with marimba before the saxophone enters in a lovely melody. The recorder joins in this haunting theme, slightly oriental in flavour. There are some lovely delicate percussion sounds before the music livens up in a rhythmic, jazzy section before slowing and returning to quieter music.
This is an intoxicating and enchanting piece in this arrangement by Alpha member Peter Navarro-Alonso.
I’d love to hear these players live. Peter Navarro-Alonso and Alpha should be applauded for these lovingly crafted arrangements and performances that are nicely recorded. The booklet notes are a little brief but this is an engaging release.
Seduced by the opulence of the sound, Pizzicato FR
Royal Recorder Concertos, Review, Pizzicato, France
From the outset, we are seduced by the opulence of the sound, which reflects a generosity and a lively game of interpretation that captivate from the first track. Despite their small staff, Arte dei Suonatori creates a fat, opulent and almost orchestral sound, in contrast to the tangy and sometimes spindly sounds we hear so often these days. And – this opulent sound is by no means synonymous with heaviness or opacity.
The melodic lines are clearly drawn, Arte dei Suonatori once again seduces you by a living interpretation with alert and flexible playing. A clearly controlled volubility which excludes any bavardage… This production brightly lit a piece of history, sometimes less known, but nevertheless of very big value and worth the attention.