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Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
German Klassik.com review on English Recorder Concertos.
Klassik.com
24 July 2012
German Magazine Klassik.com
English Translation!

Michala Petri's most recent release focuses on a cross section of 20th century English recorder concertos, including several works she previously recorded. The result is convincing, but in many aspects different from her first recordings.

It is quite common for artists to return to a certain work several times and offer a "fresh perspective."
The present case, however, presents a rather surprising selection of "return visits" if for no other reason, even the best of these works will enter the popular canon of recorder repertoire. The name of the disc is "English Recorder Concertos" – a title that already appears several times in the catalogue, both on disc by Ms. Petri and others.

The recorder – well, how to approach this instrument? While throughout most of Europe, the recorder has survived primarily as an early music and/or student instrument in England, it has enjoyed an entirely different role, almost bordering on prestige. This is due primarily to the instrument's extraordinary renaissance promulgated by early music specialist and recorder virtuoso Arnold Dolmetsch (1858-1940). Beginning in '20s, primarily with a view to performing historic repertoire with a degree of authenticity, his son Carl (1911-1997) continued to family's mission and succeeded in interesting composers of our time in writing new works for the instrument. And as this disc bears witness, this tradition shows no sign of abating.

Carl Dolmetsch was responsible for commissioning Gordon Jacob's Suite for flute and strings (1957-8), a seven-movement work that deftly plays with tradition. Michala Petri had previously recorded the
work (for Philips in 1982) as well as Sir Malcolm Arnold's 1988 Concerto, written for Petri, (for RCA in 1995) however both discs are currently OOP. Now Petri brings both works out on her own label, along with a new composition, "Concerto incantato 'by Richard Harvey.  Harvey's Concerto was written in 2009 for the ten-year anniversary of the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. As with his program mates, Harvey shares a basically traditionally approach, evoking the pastoral tradition so favored by English composers, in an effort to create what the booklet describes as a "concerto for the Harry Potter generation." If this were indeed his intention, one wonders how soon this work might be eclipsed in today's fast-paced cultural super market. Harvey's music is very descriptive, and utilizes a very traditional musical language, not surprising considering Harvey's successful career as a film score composer, as well as suggesting moments of Britten's 'Simple Symphony' or the works of Malcolm Arnold and even a hint of Philip Glass/John Adams-inspired minimalism. Perhaps most convincing is
the slow movement 'Natura Morte', with nice effects for the soloist  (but alas, also an inappropriate flutter-vibrato towards the end of the movement). The City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong performs here under its chief conductor Jean Thorel and presents their ensemble skills well, though one wonders how the orchestra (without a spectacular soloist) might hold its own in a score by say, Debussy?

Arnold's Recorder Concerto (Op. 133), although much shorter than Harvey's, demands greater attention from both the interpreter and the listener. It is generally recognized that Arnold wrote effectively for his soloists, especially wind and brass instruments. His teacher Gordon Jacob also shares this praise, but with the difference that despite his facility, Jacob's music COULD sound too calculated and that he played things a bit on the "safe side." For example the suite (written in the fifties) is not really very challenging but one respects it was never Jacob's goal to make any "deep" statement, preferring to have his attractive and idiomatic music accepted on its own terms. Whereas Arnold could be an extrovert, Jacob is more introspective.

Petri's two recordings of the Arnold concerto differ most strongly in the slow movement, where the current interpretation (as often in later recordings) is almost a full minute longer than the earlier recording. Overall, the new recording is more introspective, the virtuosity is downplayed. The real essence of this music – indeed, as with much of Arnold – is for his music's ability to be exuberant without a loss of poetic dept. When comparing both interpretations, I must confess that that the earlier recording (which is included in the 2006 Decca box set edition of all of Arnold's concertos) seems more appropriate stylistically. It is in Jacob's suite where Petri's current performance bests her earlier recording with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields (1982), despite the more deliberate tempos (particularly in the 'Burlesca alla rumba'). However, both versions are certain to be popular with audiences and performers alike no matter which you choose.

Michala Petri is not exactly known as a leading advocate of British music. In the case of British recorder music, it is difficult to get around mentioning John Turner, even despite the fact the Turner was largely self-taught. He seems to have largely followed his own muse, and has generally avoided duplicating Petri's repertoire, but still managed to release two full CDs of other 20th century British recorder concertos (ASV 2002 and Dutton 2005), in addition to numerous other productions featuring British chamber music with recorder. A comparison of Turner's playing with Petri's reveals the Brit's approach to be less refined than Petri's (especially when playing softly) but also, at times more original, though in truth, Petri has only recorded a fraction of those that Turner has.

The booklet reflects the same technically flawless production values we have come to expect from this label, but perhaps maybe too emphatic in its reflection of the preferences of the soloist (and label owner). The glossy booklet design is perhaps a bit conventional and unfortunately the numerous photos sometimes disrupt the flow of the (not entirely bad) texts.
Jürgen Schaarwächter, 07.07.2012

Klassik.com

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
All Music Guide on English Recorder Concertos
All Music Guide
12 July 2012
Danish recorder player Michala Petri has commissioned a number of works, including the Malcolm Arnold and Richard Harvey concertos heard here. She has executed this process intelligently, eliciting works that not only display her nonpareil technical skills but also reflect on the connotations a recorder carries in a modern setting. The Harvey concerto contains some of the conventions of neo-Renaissance writing, but sets them against both the extreme virtuosity of the solo part and the "incantations" of the title; if not exactly spiritual, it's a fresh and utterly accessible work. The short concerto by Arnold is one of the slight but luminous works of his old age. The Suite for recorder and strings of Gordon Jacob, composed in 1957, was commissioned by recorder revivalist Carl Dolmetsch. Its language was in no way restricted by the amateur ethos of the mid-century recorder revival, with hints of jazz present both rhythmically and harmonically and a solo part that yields nothing to the other two works. Petri is icily superb throughout, but the real pleasure here is in the music, not simply the mechanics.

by James Manheim, June 2012
All Music Guide

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
Great Klassik Heute review on English Recorder Concertos
Klassik Heute Magazine
12 July 2012
Die Kunst von Inselvölkern zeichnet sich oft durch eine – im besten Sinne – konservative Eigenwilligkeit aus. So unterscheidet sich schon seit Jahrhunderten die Musik der Britischen Inseln deutlich von der des Europäischen Festlands. Im Zwanzigsten Jahrhundert bewahrte sich die Insel gegenüber den Exzessen der Zweiten Wiener Schule und Donaueschingens eine gelassene Distanz, um mit eigenen, bemerkenswert originären Komponisten aufzuwarten. Talente (ja, ich möchte sagen: Genies) wie etwa Britten oder Tippett hätten sich auf dem Kontinent wohl kaum so individuell entwickelt. Und da Vielfalt bekanntermaßen erfreut, ist in Großbritannien in den vergangenen achtzig Jahren eine originelle Blockflötenmusik erwachsen, von der der Rest Europas erst erstaunlich spät Kenntnis genommen hat. Eine zentrale Rolle spielte hierbei Carl Dolmetsch (1911-1997), der für seine über Jahrzehnte hinweg jährlich stattfindenden Wigmore Hall Recitals Originalwerke bei den renommiertesten britischen Komponisten bestellt hat. Mit unglaublichem Enthusiasmus setzt bis auf den heutigen Tag der Blockflötist John Turner (*1943) diese Tradition fort und bleibt mit über 500 initiierten und uraufgeführten Werken am Puls der Zeit.
Im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen europäischen Blockflötisten fühlte sich Michala Petri der englischen Musik stets tief verbunden. Mit ihrer neuen CD erweist sie dieser eindrucksvollen Tradition ihre Reverenz und vereint mit Gordon Jacobs' Suite, Malcolm Arnolds Konzert sowie Richard Harveys 2009 entstandenen Concerto incantato zwei „Klassiker" mit einem aufregenden neuen Werk, das sich sicher bald einen Spitzenplatz im modernen Repertoire erobern dürfte.
Als idealer Partner für Petris virtuoses, kristallklares Spiel fand sich das hervorragend disponierte, präzise, sensibel und präsent agierende City of Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra unter Leitung von Jean Thorel.
Mit Richard Harvey (*1953) hat Petri einen der bekanntesten Komponisten Englands und darüber hinaus weltweit gefragtesten Filmmusikkomponisten gewinnen können, für sie und ihr Instrument zu schreiben. Sein 2009 vollendetes Concerto incantato entstand zum zehnjährigen Bestehen des City of Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra und wirkt der Solistin wie auf den Leib geschneidert. Selbst ein beachtlicher Blockflötist, kennt Harvey das Instrument sehr genau und versteht es daher, die besonderen Vorzüge der Blockflöte herauszustellen. Die Satztitel des fünfteiligen Werkes verweisen in die Welt des Zauberischen, Märchenhaften. Mit kantablen Melodien, zündender Rhythmik und fantasievoller Instrumentation spricht das Konzert unmittelbar an. Bemerkenswert etwa die Kombination von tiefer Klarinette und hoher Blockflöte im dritten Satz Danza Spiriti, besonders effektvoll der Finalsatz, der mit seiner minimalistischen Einleitung, tänzerischer Verve in wechselnden Taktarten und einer virtuosen Solokadenz das Konzert beschließt. Ein Meisterwerk!
Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921–2006) zählte zu den vielseitigsten und fruchtbarsten britischen Komponisten der Gegenwart. Selbst ganz aus der Praxis kommend (er war Trompeter beim London Philharmonic Orchestra) strahlt seine Musik Spielfreude aus und erfreut sich nicht von ungefähr ungebrochener Beliebtheit bei Interpreten und Publikum gleichermaßen. Sein 1988 für Michala Petri komponiertes Konzert ist klassisch dreisätzig angelegt. Herausragend dabei der gesangliche Mittelsatz und das spritzige Finale. Der „Leggiero-Ton" des Werkes überrascht, entstand es doch nur kurze Zeit nach der grandiosen 9. Symphonie, die Zeugnis von einer physisch wie psychisch äußerst schwierigen Lebensphase des Meisters ablegt.
Der Kreis schließt sich mit einem Werk von Arnolds Kompositionslehrer Gordon Jacob. Seine 1957 auf Anregung Carl Dolmetschs geschriebene Suite zählt auch noch nach über fünfzig Jahren zu den beliebtesten englischen Blockflötenwerken des 20. Jahrhunderts. Jacobs' Musik, geschult am Stil seiner Lehrer Stanford und Howells und seines Freundes Vaughan Williams, steht dabei in bester britischer Tradition. Glanzpunkte seiner Suite sind die Burlesca alla rumba und die unwiderstehliche Final-Tarantella.
Wie stets bei OUR Recordings überzeugen  Design (Michala vor der Kulisse von Stonehenge) und vor allem auch die vorzüglichen, ausführlichen Beihefttexte.
Eine höchst empfehlenswerte CD, die nicht nur ausgesprochene Blockflötenfans, sondern ein breites Publikum begeistern wird!

Heinz Braun
(16.06.2012)

Wertung:  9 / 9 / 9

English Translation of Klassik Heute Review.

The artistic production of island dwellers has often been characterized by a sort of conservative individualism - in the best sense of the word. For example, the English; for centuries the music of the British Isles distinguished itself from much of what was going on in the European mainland. In the twentieth century, they persevered against the excesses of the Second Viennese School and maintained a serene distance from Donaueschingen and the Darmstadt school, and yet still managed to come up with their own, remarkably original composers. Such talents (and yes, I would even say geniuses…), such as Britten and Tippett could have hardly developed on the continent with such individuality. In a similar manner, for more than eighty years, the UK has been a particularly favourable environment in which an entirely new musical literature for the recorder has flourished – an instrument that contemporary European musicians have only begun to take note of as of late.
Playing a pivotal role in this vital literature was Carl Dolmetsch (1911-1997), who regularly premiered new works from Britain's most renowned composers at his yearly recitals at Wigmore Hall. Recorder player John Turner (born 1943) ably continued Dolmetsch's tradition with incredible enthusiasm. Together, these two men commissioned more than 500 new works for the recorder.
Unlike many European recorder players, Michala Petri has always felt a deep connection to the English recorder tradition. With her new CD, she once again proves her mastery of that impressive tradition with a thoughtful program that includes Gordon Jacobs' Suite, Malcolm Arnold's Concerto and Richard Harvey's 2009 Concerto incantato; two "classics" paired with an exciting new work, which will certainly become one of the highpoints in the modern recorder concert repertoire.
Petri's crystal clear virtuosity finds an ideal partner in perfectly balanced, idiomatic and sensitive accompaniments of the Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jean Thorel.


Petri is one of the few musicians who could call upon Richard Harvey (b. 1953), one of England's most famous and sought-after film score composers, to write a concerto for them. His 2009 Concerto incantato, composed for the tenth anniversary of the City of Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra is a work perfectly tailored to the talents of the soloist. Harvey understands the instrument very well and carefully writes his score to show both the instrument and soloist off to best effect. Each of the work's five movements suggests the world of fairy-tale and magic. Harvey brings his concerto to life with lyrical melodies, rousing rhythms and imaginative orchestrations that have direct appeal. A noteworthy bit of orchestral colour occurs in the third movement, Danza Spiriti, where he pairs the sound of the clarinet in its low register while the recorder plays in its high tessitura. Or the final movement, beginning with a minimalist introduction before blossoming into a lively dance with changing time signatures and a virtuoso solo cadenza. A masterpiece!
Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) was one of England's most versatile and prolific composers. As a practical musician himself (he was a trumpeter with the London Philharmonic Orchestra), Arnold 's music exudes enthusiasm and it is no surprise that many of his works have enjoyed wide popularity with performers and audiences alike. His 1988 Concerto, composed for Michala Petri, is a classical concerto in three movements. Highpoints include the lyrical middle movement and the sparkling finale. The "Light" tone of the work may come as a surprise, having been written just a short time after the magnificent 9th Symphony – a testament of a physically and psychologically very difficult time in the composer's life.
The circle is completed with a work by Arnold's composition teacher, Gordon Jacob. Written in 1957 at the suggestion of Carl Dolmetsch, Jacob's suite is still, after over fifty years, one of the most popular English recorder works of the 20th Century. Having studied with Stanford, Howells and Vaughan Williams, it is no surprise the Jacob's music is written in the best British tradition. Highlights of his piece include the Burlesca alla rumba and the irresistible final Tarantella.
As always, OUR Recordings provides an attractive package (Michala against the backdrop of Stonehenge grace the cover…), and above all, excellent, detailed program notes.
A highly recommended CD that will not only delight recorder fans, but will also appeal to a wide audience!

Klassik Heute Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Corelli : La Follia
BBC Music Magazine gives 2 times 5 star (Max) and CHAMBER CHOICE to Corelli La Follia
BBC Music Magazine
17 June 2012
BBC Music Magazine
CHAMBER CHOICE February 2015
Performance 5 star (maximum)
Recording 5 star (maximum)

A vivacious partnership

Mahan Esfahani and Michala Petri play with captivating directness
Paul Riley enjoys Michala Petri and Mahan Esfahani's take of Corelli.

A decade after Corelli's Op.5 Violin Sonatas were introduced to England, writer and musician Roger North observed, "It is wonderful what a scratching of Corelli there is everywhere – nothing will relish but Corelli". The set represented the defining moment of the early Baroque violin sonatas, and it wasn't just violinists doing the relishing. Recorder transcriptions abounded, and Michala Petri addresses the "sonata de camera" leg of Op.5 in the company of a harpsichordist fast turning into a serial and lively collaborator: Mahan Esfahani. Not since Richard Egarr teamed up with Andrew Manze (Harmonia Mundi) has op. 5 enjoyed such vivacious and inventive continuo realisation.
Petri and Esfahani's is an invigorating ensemble effort, each sparking off the other to foster a captivating directness whether sparkling or soulful. Nothing is safe and reverential,- and yet there's no iconoclastic agenda either. Preludious are ideally urbane; an almost Bachian dialogue invades No.8's Giga, while La Follia emerges beautifully paced, artfully embellished and vividly characterized. Compared to the violin, there's an inevitable chaste innocence to the liquid sound of Petri's recorder – which Esfahani is able to subvert with sly humour. If the violin (as wielded by Manze) remains Op.5's true home, the perspective provided by this newcomer undoubtedly relishes
BBC Music Magazine

Michala Petri and Lars Hannibal
Virtuoso Baroque
Northern Times on "Virtuoso Baroque"
Northern Times Magazine
17 June 2012
The latest musical collarboration between recorder specialist Petri and lutenist Hannibal finds the duo exploring the flamboyant delights of the Baroque. Splendid works by Bach, Telemann, Vivaldi and Handel are all given an airing, and the two mastermusicians also tackle an arrangement of Giuseppe Tartini's most famous creation, the deliciously diabolical Devisl's Trill, which the Italian composer was inspired to penn in 1713 after a dream in which Lucifer himself had appeared at the foot of his bed wielding a violin.
Kevin Bryan, Northern Times, UK
Northern Times Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
Transcentury on English Recorder Concertos
Transcentury
17 June 2012
FYI:  http://transcentury.blogspot.com/2012/05/virtuosi-in-focus.html
      The recorder was once the frequent province of virtuosi, but as the transverse flute supplanted it, it fell into comparative obscurity – from which it never quite emerged except in period-practice performances of older works.  However, it never went entirely out of style, either, and is now undergoing something of a revival: Concerto Incantato by Richard Harvey (born 1953) was written as recently as 2009.  This piece, which receives its world première recording in a thoroughly convincing performance by Michala Petri, for whom it was written, is a five-movement work with spiritual and magical overtones in the movements' titles: Sortilegio, Natura Morta, Danza Spiriti, Canzone Sacra and Incantesimi.  Petri makes the music flow naturally and entertainingly from start to finish, bringing considerable charm to a work that combines modern sensibilities with the old-fashioned orientation of a Telemann suite.  Sir Malcolm Arnold'sConcerto for Recorder and Orchestra (1988), also written for Petri, is a more-serious piece and sounds more substantial, even though it is much shorter than Harvey's work (12 minutes vs. 29).  Arnold clearly saw the recorder as continuing to deserve the same solo prominence in the 20th century that it had in the 18th.  Gordon Jacob, however, saw matters differently: his Suite for Recorder and Strings (1957) takes full advantage of the instrument's lightness and its ability to create a fleet-footed impression, as if its music is about to take wing.  The seven-movement suite, which recalls Telemann even more directly than does Harvey's work, actually contains more slow-paced movements (four) than quick ones (three).  But far from trying to delve deeply into emotional realms, even in the Lament (Adagio),Jacob keeps everything comparatively light and at times even bubbly, as in the Burlesca alla Rumba and concluding Tarantella.  Petri is an absolutely wonderful advocate for the recorder, with the three pieces here showing off her considerable skill and their composers' very different talents as well.
Transcentury

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Corelli : La Follia
Corelli Gramophone Editor's Choice January 2015
Gramophone Magazine
16 June 2012
Gramophone UK
Editor's Choice January 2015

It's rare to experience the level of artistic rapport heard on this recording from Danish recorder player Michala Petri and Iranian-born harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani. Corelli's op.5 provides the framework for a remarkable demonstration of not only rich, idiomatic possibilities for transcriptions from violin to recorder but, significantly, the extraordinary levels of dialogue (trs 1 and 15) and genuine inspiration of the moment it inspires.
In Petri's capable hands, the recorder becomes a medium through which she conveys a more vocal interpretation of thematic material than ever a violin could. From Corelli's logical, elegant bass-lines, Esfahani crafts the most imaginative and engaging accompaniments and repartee I have ever heard, each phrase, sections and movement a skillful and stylish response (trs 1 and 14), to which he brings an astonishing range of techniques (trs 8 and 9) and instrumental colour (trs 13,17 and 19). The musical chemistry between the two musicians is palpable and most evident in the quick exchanges in the faster movements (trs 5,9,11 and 20). While there are movements of both sublime simplicity and compelling declamation (tr12), equally there is joyfulness and banter. Together, Petri and Esfahani take the application of ornamentation to new levels of sophistication (trs 2,3 and 16), exploring the implications of the music itself, commenting and reflecting on it by the way they choose the embellish repeats and points of imitation.
This is a recording that will repay repeated listening as a masterclass in musical collaboration. It breaks new and higher ground. Julie Anne Sadie, Gramophone January 2015

Gramophone Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
Review in Musical Pointer on English Recorder Concertos
Musical Pointer Magazine
13 June 2012
English Recorder Concertos

Jacob, G: Suite for Recorder and Strings
Arnold: Recorder Concerto, Op. 133
Harvey, R: Concerto Incantato
Michala Petri (recorders)
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong/Jean Thorel

OUR Recordings: 6220606

This is possibly the best of Michala Petri's many recordings, especially so for British collectors. There is something to be said for playing them in chronological order as listed above.
Gordon Jacob (1895-1984), a highly respected composer with many commissions for recorder, was prominent during the Dolmetsch era, when I was learning to play the recorder with Walter Bergmann. This Suite, in seven short movements, is one of the best of them.
Malcom Arnold's late concerto for Michala Petri (1988) is more searching, with changing moods and some acerbity - an important addition to the Arnold discography with has been celebrated by Musical Pointer.
For many of our readers, Richard Harvey's major offering (near 30 mins) will be the big surprise.
A highly successful composer of music for movies and TV, he is too a recorder player, and this ebullient concerto for Hong Kong (2009) is lavishly conceived and spiced with references to the Chinese xiao and North American flute. Quick switching between recorders of various sizes is called for, and this major addition to the repertoire deserves much wider exposure.
I leave the best to last.
The production of this CD is exemplary. There are five distinctive portrait photos of Petri by Tom Barnard (one cunningly hidden behind the booklet) and others of her in action; collages with Stonehenge and English countryside in the Peak District, together with superb photos of the world premiere concert in Hong Kong and of the orchestra holding up the traffic!
With overall production by Lars Hannibal and artwork etc by Charlotte E.Z.B.Petersen this is a model booklet, a collector's piece - rather as have latterly become some covers for old vinyl discs, now in vogue with collectors.
All that is missing from the CD is a recording of the "duo encore" for recorders given by Michala and Richard Harvey at the Hong Kong premiere - but no worry, it is here on YouTube for your delectation.
Peter Grahame Woolf,- March 2012


Musical Pointer Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Chen Yue, xiao and dizi
Dialogue - East Meets West
Reviews from the English internaet Magazine Musical Pointer
Musical Pointer Magazine
03 June 2012

Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos etc (Michala Petri with Lars Hannibal, guitar)
OUR recordings 2007

Chinese & western music (Chen Yue (bamboo flute with Lars Hannibal, guitar)
OUR recordings 2007



These two restful compilations go well taken in tandem. The recorder and the Chinese bamboo flute both have a coolness which gives an attractive slant on the popular music covered in these anthologies. Chen Yue gives traditional European tunes, but also the Air on the G string and Winter from The Four Seasons. Lars Hannibal partners them both and takes a few solos in the Chen Yue Spirits disc.

PGW


Michala Petri at 50

Two more CDs to celebrate Michala Petri's exploration of ever new repertoire for her instrument. She has previously worked with the Chinese traditional flutist Chen Yue, and this disc Dialogue - East meets West brings together a dozen commissions for the duo, half of them by young Chinese composers, the others by young Danish composers.

Some of these are challenging to players and listeners alike. For those of us unfamiliar with the Xiao & the Dizi. It is not always easy to be sure which player is giving which line... A video would help.

The cover image reflects their pleasure in this association; you can also see them playing together (but not this programme) on several short YouTube videos.

The other disc is a live recording with Gidon Kremer's Kremerata Baltica/Daniil Grishin at Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens, a celebratory birthday concert on the actual date, July 7 2008. It includes a Vivaldi concerto for sopranino recorder, the work Michala has played most frequently throughout her career.

Representing her indefatigable promotion of new music, an interesting work for recorder and string orchestra by Russian composer Artem Vassiliev, not easy listening, well worth getting to know. Michala's interest in Eastern music is represented here by a concertante work The Ancient Chinese Beauty by Chen Yi.

These are both attractive discs, recommended to recorder players and everyone interested in the recorder, as are the others in this expanding series.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Musical Pointer Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Chen Yue, xiao and dizi
Dialogue - East Meets West
Nice first review of Dialogue in Danish Newspaper Politiken
Politiken
03 June 2012
Michala Petri spiller så ørerne blafrer
Danske Michala Petri har vovet sig ud i det usikre med sin nye kinesiske fløjtemakker på nyt ungdommeligt album.
Af  Henrik Friis
Yao Hu læner sig op ad den kinesiske tradition med lange udsmykkede linjer og stor ro, og Pernille Louise Sejlund skaber smukke flimrende klange med den europæiske blokfløjte og dens kinesiske fætter xiao.

Gang Chens musik lyder som hardcore amerikanske støjeksperimenter med sin stramt blændende toneverden, mens tonerne fra Anders Monrad er minimale og mekaniske.

Michala Petri har vovet sig ud i det usikre med sin nye kinesiske fløjtemakker. Ukendt ung musik som kulturel dialog.

Det tager mindst et par værker at vænne sig til den specielle klang og lære nuancerne at kende, men så fungerer det også. Alle komponister er lige så uprøvede, som de er forskellige, og det giver nogle ujævnheder undervejs.

Anderledes oplevelser
Men spillet er rigtig godt, og man får anderledes oplevelser, så ørerne blafrer.

Det er altid sympatisk, når etablerede musikere lægger ryg til helt unge og uprøvede komponisters musik, og beundringsværdigt, at Michala Petri begiver sig ud i et så musikalsk skrøbeligt projekt.

Ti spritnye værker af folk stort set alle under 30 i en temmelig eksotisk duo giver overhængende risiko for at miste trofaste pladekøbere.

De kan nu bare købe løs ? man bliver overrasket.


iBYEN synes
Politiken

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
Top review in Classical CD Review on English Recorder Concertos
Classical CD Review
24 May 2012
In November 2010 this site mentioned a superb recording of Chinese recorder concertos played by Michala Petri. Now we have another terrific recording by this remarkable artist, on a new label, OUR Recordings. It is a total delight in every way, featuring three generations of English composers. Richard Harvey (b. 1953) has written music for many films. His Concerto Incantato written in 2009 for Petri is a delightful 5-movement suite. Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) wrote his concerto in 1988 for Petri, and it is given a stunning performance (this is Petri's third recording of it). A delightful close to the program is the Suite for Recorder and Strings composed in 1957 by Gordon Jacob (1896-1984), 7-movements ending with a dazzling Tarantella. Petri is in top form, the orchestra is wonderful, audio excellent if not particularly "surround." A quality issue, highly recommended!

Robert Benson ClassicalCDReview.com (April 2012)

Classical CD Review

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Corelli : La Follia
Fantasic review in "The Classical Reviewer" on Corelli
Fanfare Magazine
20 May 2012
A new release from OUR Recordings of six of Corelli's opus 5 sonatas in performances by Michala Petri and Mahan Esfahani that are an absolute delight

Arcangelo Corelli's (1653-1713) twelve sonatas for violin and harpsichord, Op. 5 were published in Rome in 1700 and dedicated to the Electress Sophie Charlotte of Brandenburg. The first six of these sonatas are sonatas da Chiesa (church sonata) and the second six sonatas da camera (chamber sonata).
Renowned recorder player Michala Petri www.michalapetri.com  joins with the critically acclaimed harpsichordist, Mahan Esfahani www.mahanesfahani.com  to perform an 18th century transcription for recorder and harpsichord of the last six of Corelli's Op.5 sonatas on a new recording from OUR Recordings www.ourrecordings.com

In fact these artists do not keep rigidly to the edition published by London publisher, John Walsh but, where appropriate follow Corelli's 1700 version as well as adding their own spontaneity. The name John Walsh will of course be familiar as the publisher of many of Handel's works.
Michala Petri and Mahan Esfahani open with the Sonata in G minor, Op. 5, No. 12, 'La Follia', perhaps Corelli's most famous piece. This receives a particularly lovely performance, opening with Petri's pure toned recorder around which Esfahani provides some lovely fluent decorative chords, before leading to some wonderfully fast passages where both players show their considerable dexterity. Their tempi are spot on with some beautifully languid slow passages that perfectly offset the more dynamic moments. A terrific performance.
The Preludio – Vivace of Sonata in G minor, Op.5 No.7 opens joyfully, these players adding a lovely dancing flow and sparkle before the Corrente – Allegro which moves forward at a fine pace with some very fine intricate playing from both Petri and Esfahani. These two artists provide terrific ensemble. Petri's tone and shaping of notes is impressive as is her incredible fluency. There is a spacious, beautifully laid outSarabande – Largo before the final Giga – Allegro, a lively buoyant movement that moves along with a tremendous rhythmic bounce. This is exceptionally fine playing.
There is a really fine opening to the Sonata in C major, Op. 5 No.9 a Preludio - Largo with Petri's lovely tone providing a flowing melody over Esfahani's florid beautifully decorative accompaniment with lovely shaping of phrases. There follows another rhythmically buoyant movement, the Giga – Allegro an absolute joy before the Adagio where Esfahani's beautifully laid out accompaniment provides the perfect foil to Petri's beautifully decorated playing.  Petri and Esfahani really move forward in the concluding Tempo di Gavotta – Allegro with terrific ensemble, fluency and agility, playing of the highest calibre.
With the Preludio - Adagio of Sonata in G major, Op.5 No. 11 the tempo is perfectly judged, with Petri's longer phrases leading over Esfahani's nicely paced harpsichord accompaniment to perfection. TheAllegro is a joy with Petri's well pointed phrases and Esfahani's wonderful accompaniment. There is another short linking Adagio with beautifully decorated passages before the light and joyful Vivace. TheGavotta - Allegro reveals more of these artists fine affinity with great ensemble and understanding
Petri and Esfahani bring a lovely long breathed flow to the Preludio - Largo of the Sonata in G minor, Op.5 No.8, Petri providing a lovely tone. There is a beautifully light and fluent  Allemanda – Allegro and a gently flowing  Sarabanda - Largo that moves forward so naturally before the concluding Giga - Allegrowhich has a lovely spring in its step as well as more fine interplay between these soloists.
These two fine players conclude with the Sonata in G major, op.5 No.10 where in the Preludio - Adagioharpsichordist, Mahan Esfahani again sets off Michala Petri's lovely fluent playing so well. The Allemanda - Allegro trots along at a lovely pace before the beautifully done Sarabanda - Largo with these artists keeping a slow tempo and bringing out every little detail. A brief buoyant Gavotta - Allegro precedes the final Giga - Allegro giving a terrific conclusion, full of life and buoyancy, to these sonatas.
These players make an absolutely terrific duo in transcriptions that seem to fall so naturally to these instruments. The very fine recording from Garnisonskirken, Copenhagen, Denmark gives a nice acoustic around the players whilst retaining detail and clarity. There are informative notes from Mahan Esfahani in the nicely illustrated booklet. There is a small error on the booklet and rear of the case that gives the C major sonata No. 9 as being Op.7 where, of course it is Op.5. This is a small matter on a release that is an absolute delight. November 25th 2014

Fanfare Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Corelli : La Follia
Great IRR review on Corelli!
IRR Magazine
20 May 2012
International Record Review (IRR-UK)
Comparisons: Steger, The English Concert/Cummings (Harmonia Mundi)
                        Temmingh, Watts (Oehms Classics)
The 300th anniversary of Arcangelo Corell's death passed unceremoniously in January 2013, though several record labels have since capitalized on this opportunity to thrust the composer back into the limelight. New traversals of Corelli's op. 5 Sonatas from Avison Ensemble and Pavlo Beznosiuk on Linn and from the Trio Corelli on bridge Records (reviewed in March 2013 and June 2012 respectively) have each afforded fresh perspectives on this seminal group of pieces upon which, declared Dr Charles Burney in 1776, all good schools for the violin have since been founded.
Today, it is hard to fully appreciate the clamorous expectation with which new works by the great Italian master would have been awaited throughout Europe's musical capitals, and to understand how, so soon after its publication, Corelli's music was often rearranged and transcribed for instrumental combinations for which wily publishers were always assured handsome profits.
It shouldn't surprise us either to find that many unauthorized and speculative revisions involved that most utilitarian of instruments, and part of the essential daily equipment for any civilized gentleman of letters, the recorder. This new disc from OUR Recordings featuring the acclaimed Danish virtuoso Michala Petri and former BBC New generation Artist Mahan Esfahani accompanying on the harpsichord is one of several currently available which feature the recorder.
Textual material used here derives from a number of sources, primarily the original the original Roman printing of 1700. However, rather confusingly, it is an undated reprint for flute (otherwise recorder, where no flauto traverso was available, since both instruments were widely considered interchangeable at the time) issued by the London publisher John Walsh that furnishes the scores used here by Petri and Esfahani. The original frontispiece, which has been reproduced in the attractive and lavishly illustrated booklet, reassured the would-be purchaser that the whole (in this case just the last six sonatas of Op. 5, the so-called Sonate di Camera) has been exactly transposed and made fit for a flute and a bass, with the approbation of several eminent masters.
One need hardly add, of course, that Petri's performance are superlative, though for all their excellence, there's also no denying that the music loses something of its engaging effect because of the necessarily limited tonal palette of the recorder itself. Contemporary reports of Corelli's own playing often suggested an element of almost Paganinian theatrics, with Roger North relating in 1728 that he never met any man that suffered his passions to hurry him away so much whilst he was playing upon the violin as the famous Arcengelo Corelli, whose eyes will sometimes turn red as fire; his countenance will be distorted, his eyeballs roll as in an egony, and he gives in so much to what he is doing that he doth not look like the same man!
There's no comparable diablerie There's no comparable diablerie about these new accounts, however, and despite necessarily circumscribed expressive possibilities, Petri and Esfahani still manage to sound absolutely bewiching throughout this uncannily beautiful recording from Copenhagen's Garnisionskirken. Such is the musical chemestry between them that one soon becomes fully attuned to hearing this familiar music performed on the recorder.
Anyone after more varied takes on Corelli's Op. 5 Sonatas might well enjoy hearing Maurice Stegers's fascinating Harmonia Mundi release, " Mr. Corelli in London", in which he plays a variety of what might today be called cover versions of these works with the English Concert directed by Laurence Cummings. They offer transcriptions in a wide variety of different settings, as popularized back in the day by such figures as Geminiani (Corelli's disciple), Paisible, Castrucci, Babel and Loeillet,- all of whom arranged these works in order to satisfy insatiable popular demand during the 1700s. Steger's playing is impressive enough, yet the principal virtue of this release is that the accompaniments themselves prove fascinatingly diverse.
Equally, if you're happy enough with just harpsichord accompaniment alone, then look no further than Petri's and Esfahani's immaculately played and diligently prepared new accounts, which seem in every way the last word in tasteful and elegant musicianship, with a magical recording to boot. There are also the capable and stylish Oehms performance  from Stefan Temmingh and harpsichordist Olga Watts, which are entirely recommendable, too, but those recorded sounds lacks the bloom and sophistication of this new SACD version. Michael Jameson, International Record Review, December 2014



IRR Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Corelli : La Follia
Great 5 Star review in leading Danish Newspaper Berlingske Tidende on Corelli!
Berlingske Tidende
20 May 2012
Michala Petris disciplinerede magi
Michala Petri har lige udsendt sit bedste barokalbum i mange år – og er stadig en ørn til liveoptrædener.
Vi har hørt den gamle vurdering til bevidstløshed:
Michala Petri hører måske nok til landets bedste musikere. Hun har bare sit instrument imod sig.
Det med instrumentet kan være lidt rigtigt. Omrejsende virtuos på blokfløjte er ikke uden grund en sjældenhed. Barokkens lille blæserør kan savne slagkraft, farver i klangen, spændvidde i tonerne.
Petris særklasse står til gengæld stærkere end nogensinde. Hvad enten man ser den 56 år gamle stjerne i Mogens Dahls Koncertsal eller lægger hendes seneste CD på anlægget.
For hendes spil virker stadig mere kraftfuldt. Hun lægger stadig flere farver på blokfløjtens repertoire. Og hun kan varierer tonerne inden for den snævre ramme i det uendelige.
Petri har arbejdet med en syndflod af stjerne gennem årene. Hendes seneste spillepartner skulle blive den unge Mahan Esfahani- iranskfødt ekspert på cembalo og nybagt modtager af den hæderfulde Gramophone Award.
De to ligner ikke umiddelbart et indlysende match: Petri er den lidt stramme dame med bevidst nedtonet scenestil. Esfahani er showmand af den anden verden og kan tale en vis herre øret af.
Men de fungerer fuldstændig lydefrit sammen. Hun holder has improvisationer ved tangenterne lidt i ave. Han giver hende luft til endnu flere virtuoserier på fløjten.
Et arrangement som i torsdags er først og fremmest utroligt generøst. Parret kunne sagtens have spillet uddrag fra deres første album sammen og færdig.
Den stopfulde sal får bare uendelig meget mere:
Sonater af gamle Corelli. Værker af Johan Sebastian Bach og sønnen Carl Philipp Emanuel. Og oven i det hele så hele to forrevne mesterstykker af næsten ny dato.
Fantasien af Axel Borup-Jørgensen klinger i hvert fald fantastisk i deres hænder. Den nyligt afdøde dansker komponerede fuldstændig, som vi husker manden selv: Avantgardistisk og intellektuelt udfordrende - men samtidig utroligt venlig og i kontakt med følelserne.
Albummet er viet seks af sonaterne fra Corellis næstsidste opus anno 1700. herunder den berømte "La Follia", hvis arveanlæg skulle passere videre til menuetten fra "Elverhøj".
De i alt 23 skæringer blev oprindeligt skrevet for violin. At høre dem på blokfløjte har som regel været knap så spændende.
Men når Michala Petri leverer luften, kommer der sorg og ny stemning ind over. Hun får også forbløffende meget pynt af den fingernemme slags med. Og Cembaloet klinger rundt og skønt som den fineste guitar.
Et velproduceret album. To forskellige kunstnere i overraskende samdrægtighed. Seks skønne sonater fra pudderparykkens tid og med lige tilpas mange dikkedarer.  Koncert: 5 stjerne og CD: 5 stjerner. Søren Schauser, Berlingske 11.10.2014
Berlingske Tidende

Michala Petri and Lars Hannibal
Virtuoso Baroque
Gramophone review on "Virtuoso Baroque"
Gramophone Magazine
02 May 2012
There can be little doubt that if any recorderplayer has the right to give  their CD the title "Virtuoso Baroque", it is Michala Petri. Here she proves her fitness by wading into three technique-bending warhorses from the violin repertoire - the Vitali Chaconne, Corelli's Folia and Tartini's Dervil's Trill Sonata- and emerges the other side with scarcely a ruffle. In music both fast and slow her poise remains absolute, thanks to lightning fingerwork, precision tonguing, fautless breath control and unfailing eveness of tone and tuning. There must be few recorderplayers anywhere who can match this, and the cool-handed athleticism is no less impressive in some of the actual wind pieces including here in the form of sonatas by Telemann, Bach, Chedeville and Handel. At its best, the cheer sound of Petri's playing can shoot a thrill through you like an iced drink on a hot day.
But this, of course, is precisely where the reservations creep in, because for all the attention to detail, stylish command of line and tasteful ornamentation, there are times when the final sparks of excitement and human warmth are missing. The Corelli is disappointingly reserved, the Tartini final lacks dramatic power, and the Pastorale of the Chedeville needs more drowsy atmosphere. Lars Hannibal's solid but unremarkable accompaniments do not help a great deal. Listen to this CD and you will gape in wonder at Petri's technical brilliance, but in the end you may find at a deeper level that the music has left you strangely unmoved. Linsay Kemp, Gramophone January 2012
Gramophone Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
The Danish National Vocal Ensemble
I Dreamt a Dream
Songs of the Danish Heartland
American Record Guide on "Drømte mig en Drøm"
American Record Guide
01 May 2012
UPC 636943690727, Dromte m ig en drom, American Record Guide:
The good news is that this is a lovely, lyrical anthology of Danish songs—several of them from the folk idiom—recorded in a warm, clear acoustic by a superb choir that knows and loves what it's doing. Crowning their efforts is the playing of recorder virtuoso Michala Petri, whose obbligatos add a spectrum of buoyant and handsome colors to the singing. My kids grew up listening to a wonderful program of folk songs from around the world with Jean- Pierre Rampal and Maurice Andre playing along. While this program isn't for children— not expressly so, anyway—Petri's delightful interpolations took me back to those many hours of happy family singing.

The bad news is that the notes and texts are in Danish only. Sigh. So while I imagine I'm being crooned to about dreamy sunsets along the Skagerrak and life's enduring pleasures at the corner of North and Baltic, the truth is I have no idea what they're singing about and neither will most of you. Double sigh. © 2013 American Record Guide

American Record Guide

Michala Petri and Lars Hannibal
Virtuoso Baroque
Great review on Virtuoso Baroque in Southern CA Early Music Society Newsletter
Southern CA Early Music Society Newsletter
01 May 2012
Also, don't let the month pass by without enjoying the masterful recital by recorder virtuoso Michala Petri and archlutist Lars Hannibal. Since performing in 1992 at the Monastery La Cartuja de la Sierra in Andalusia, Spain, they have dominated the marked for recorder-archlute in programs of music from the late renaissance and early baroque to contemporary works written for especially for them. In 2006, the duo formed OUR Recordings, to present their continuing musical adventures. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Petri-Hannibal have recorded their most popular Baroque hits, from moody Telemann, chirpy Vivaldi, and mellifluous and consoling Bach, to the fireworks of Corelli's La Folia and Tartini's Devil's Trill Sonata. The playing is ravishing, the sound is almost decadently intimate.
Southern CA Early Music Society Newsletter

Michala Petri, recorder
The Danish National Vocal Ensemble
The Nightingale
Great Pizzato review on The Nightingale
Pizzicato Magazine
02 April 2012
Alle Chorsänger, die sich auch für zeitgenössische Choirmusik interessieren, werden an dieser CD mit Weltersteeinspielungen von Werken für Blockflöte und Chor Gefallen finden. Michala petri und das "Danish National Vocala Ensemble" laden ein zu einer Musikalischen Nordlandreise. Die vier Werke, entstanden zwischen 2006 und 2011, entführen in geheimnisvollen Klanglandschaften. "Die Nachtigall" des Ltettische Komponisten Ugis Praulins basiert auf dem Märchen von Hans Christian Andersen, in dem die flötende Nachtingall über den Choirstikmmen Schwebt.
In seinem sehr suggestiven und stimmungsvollen Stück "Nemesis Divina" schreibt der Schwede Daniel Börtz eine ätherishe Engelsmusik. "I" Sunleif rasmussens Vertonung eines Gedicht von Inger Christensens, ist eine literarish-musikalische Meditation über das menscheliche Dasein. Der junge dänische Komponist Peter Bruun setzt sich mit dem Mystizismus des britischen Lyrikers Gerad Manley Hopkins auseinander.
Dier auf die Wirkung der Stimmen im Klangraum setzenden Surround-Produktion hüllt den Hörer mit Tönen ein, die allesamt von oben zu kommen scheinen. Das Danish National Vocal Ensemble" beeindruckt dabei mit seinem sehr differenzierten un klaren, nuancenreichen und fein abgestimmen Singen, das immer einen teil Mysterium in die Musik einbringt!
n.t. Pizzicato Februar 2012
Pizzicato Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
Great reveiw on English Recorder Concertos in Musicweb International
Music Web International
25 March 2012
Richard HARVEY (b.1953)
Concerto Incantato (2009) [28:29]
Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006)
Concerto for Recorder and Strings, Op.133 (1988) [11:55]
Gordon JACOB (1895-1984)
Suite for Recorder and Strings (1957) [18:30]
Michala Petri (recorder)
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong/Jean Thorel
rec. 24-29 May 2011, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
OUR RECORDINGS 6.220606 [59:06]

Let's deal with the top and bottom lines first. This is one of the best CDs of recorder music that I have ever heard. Full stop. However, four things need to be said. Firstly, that this particular instrument is not my favourite: it comes a long way down my personal batting list which is crowned by piano and cello. I guess that I associate it with my own excruciating attempts to play Greensleeves as a nine year old scholar. My contemporaries were not much better either. Secondly, the tone of the 'English flute' is something that needs to be heard in relatively small doses. To this end, I advise taking each of these works one by one – with small refreshment breaks in-between. Thirdly, I have never heard of Michala Petri – I ought to have. She is utterly brilliant. Finally, notwithstanding 'point one' above, I have long regarded the legendary John Turner as the master of recorder music. It is rare for me to listen to any work for this instrument that is not played or recorded by him. So this is, for me at any rate, new territory.

The Richard Harvey Concerto Incantato is officially billed as a 'world premiere recording'. However I have not heard the Arnold or the Jacob before. I have discovered that Michala Petri did record the Jacob in 1984 on Philips Digital.

If I am honest, I have never heard of Richard Harvey either. Once again, I should have. For one thing he contributed to Hans Zimmer's score for the Da Vinci Code. Born in 1953, he graduated from the Royal College of Music in 1972. He has involved himself with many genres of music – from medieval to rock – he had a progressive rock and folk band called Gryphon. One point of note: his 'modest' web-site (Richard Harvey: Renowned Composer, Arranger Conductor and Multi-Instrumentalist) is very difficult to read – white text on black!

Harvey's Concerto is interesting, if not totally satisfying. When I read that he was a film-music composer, I did wonder if it would suffer from sounding like a compilation from his film scores and to a certain extent I believe this is true. However, the Concerto is a valid work in its own right. The listener needs to remember that Harvey is an accomplished recorder player – and other instruments too. His website notes that he can play some 700 different instruments from around the world! I would be delighted to manage just one well.

The Concerto Incantato was written specifically for Michala Petri and was commissioned by Leanne Nicholls for the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong's tenth anniversary concert.

The sleeve-notes suggest an eclectic stylistic background to the work and this is exactly what we hear. The composer quite clearly draws extensively on his television and film score background, although this is supplemented by his interest in medieval music.

The concerto is written in five movements and makes use of the full set of recorders. The first movement is entitled Sorcery and I must admit does have a distinct Harry Potter mood to it. The orchestration fairly shimmers. The second is entitled Natura Morta - Still Life. Here the composer has used the tenor recorder and has had recourse to ethnic music derived from China and the native North-American flute. It is a thoughtful, almost static piece that lulls the listener into a dream-like world. The following Danza Spiriti (Dance of the Sprits) destroys the reverie. This is exciting music that chases itself around in circles. The next movement is the meditative Sacra Canzone featuring what the composer has called the English Theme. This leads to the finale which once again nods to Harry Potter – Incantesimi – Spells. This, for me, is the least impressive part of the work. The minimalist recorder figurations become tedious. However the music builds up to a hectic dance, before the English Theme is reprised. I am not sure I like the 'medieval' mood in parts of this movement.

In the round this is a reasonably impressive and virtuosic work – however I hold it to be a little unbalanced between the parts. If this is music for the 'Harry Potter' generation, as billed in the liner-notes then I am not quite convinced.

Malcolm Arnold's 1988 Concerto was composed specifically for Michala Petri. I know that there are mixed views about the quality of this work. It is not one of my favourites from the composer's pen. Yet there is plenty of interest and one or two touches of the 'old' Arnold. I guess that I am a little concerned that the balance of work is faulty. There is such a difference stylistically between the complex passacaglia of the second movement and the 'St Trinians' mood of the finale. And I cannot quite weigh up the opening movement. Yet the concerto has some interesting things. It probably deserves its place in the repertoire.

Gordon Jacob needs no introduction to readers of these pages. However, I think it fair to say that his music is largely under-represented in the catalogues with only nine CDs containing his music. This compares to 159 for Malcolm Arnold. The present Suite was commissioned by Arnold Dolmetsch in 1957. It has been rightly regarded as a 'divertissement' rather than anything more serious. It is presented in seven well-balanced movements. The Suite opens with a delightfully 'pastoral' Prelude. This is followed by a lively English dance which is just way too short. Then there is a Lament. However, this is not too depressing and has a 'smoochy' feel to it rather than one of heartbreak. The string writing here is particularly beautiful. It is the longest movement in the suite. I love the exciting Burlesca alla Rumba which is all sunshine. This is followed by an epitome of English pastoral – the Pavane. Here are impressions of fields and rivers and up-and-down dales. The penultimate movement, an Introduction and Cadenza is also illustrative of the landscape although this time in valedictory mood. For me it is the heart of the work. The finale, Tarantella is fun all the way. Jacob calls for the soprano recorder to give brightness and sparkle to the last moments of this Suite.

Michala Petri has some sixty CDs listed in the Arkiv catalogue. The range of music covered is phenomenal. From Bach to Ole Bull and from Fauré to Frederick the Great, she has recorded a huge variety of works. Noted as a child prodigy, she began playing recorder aged three, took serious lessons at five and by 11 years she made her concerto debut. She often played together with her mother Hanne, a harpsichordist and her brother David, cellist as part of the Petri Trio. Nowadays, she often gives concerts with her husband, the lutenist and guitarist, Lars Hannibal. Both Petri and her husband run their own record label – OUR Recordings. The present disc is one of more than a dozen released in the past eight years.

However, it is not just Michala Petri who has given a superb performance. Jean Thorel at the helm of the City Chamber Orchestra has contributed a sympathetic accompaniment to these three concertos.

This is an enjoyable CD that is well played and features a diverse programme. In spite of my reservations about the Malcolm Arnold Concerto and the stylistic balance of the Richard Harvey I feel that it will be essential listening for enthusiasts of recorder music. The presentation of the disc is impressive: it looks and feels good. The sound quality is excellent. I enjoyed the liner-notes – they are both informative and entertaining.

My favourite work, by a long shot, is Gordon Jacob's Suite and I will turn to this recording to enjoy this piece on many occasions.

John France, June 2012

This is one of the best CDs of recorder music that I have ever heard. Full stop.



Music Web International

Michala Petri, recorder
The Danish National Vocal Ensemble
The Nightingale
Great Gramophone review on The Nightingale
Gramophone Magazine
14 March 2012
Layton in Denmark for another Baltic voyage!
This new disc reinforces the extraordinary strengths of the Danish choral tradition. Here are voices of mature suppleness and agility, surveying new music by Nordic quartet of a Dane, a Latvian, a Swede and a Faroese, stirring from a deep wellspring of creativity and all sung in English. The oldest piece recorded here (a mere four years old) is Nemesis divina by Daniel Börtz, born in Sweden in 1943. This is a challenging "musical/metaphysical meditation" on the word "man" reminiscent of 1970s Berio but none the worse for it. Rasmussen's "I" is equally challenging on first hearing, full of twist and turns.
The Nightingale (2011) by Latvian Ugis Praulins is essentially a 30-minutes concerto, sonsisting of a series of eight colourful tableaux based on Hans Christian Andersen's tale of the Emperor and The Nightingale. It demands a astonish choral range of four octaves. The seventh section " The Artificial Bird", is a marvel of invention, with percussive imitations and multiphonics. The ornithological theme is continued with Bruun's pair of Hopkins bird-poem settings. In an accessible and diatonic idiom, they make a splendid and satisfying conclusion the distinctive programme.
Needless to say. Stephen Layton steers his peerlessly virtuoso musicians through this electric and innovative mix with his customary polish and dramatic energy. Also running through it all like a golden thread is Michala Petri's iridescent playing. She uses the full "chest" of recorders with mercurial ease. This is an unequivocal treat for connoisseurs of fine choral singing and recorder lovers alike.
Malcolm Riley, March 2012
Gramophone Magazine
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E-mail: hannibal@michalapetri.com
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