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Palle Mikkelborg
Going To Pieces - Without Falling Apart
English translation of the fantastic review in German Magazine Klassik Heute, a 10/10/10
Klassik Heute Magazine
15 June 2013
After several years of preparation, a dream has finally come true for Michala Petri and OUR Recordings: a joint recording project with the Danish jazz legend Palle Mikkelborg . The list of names that Mikkelborg has played with and composed for reads like a Who's who of Jazz: Gil Evans, Miles Davis, Peter Herbolzheimer, Terje Rypdal and Jan Garbarek, just to name a few. As a trumpeter, bandleader, arranger and composer, Mikkelborg's talent is beyond question. Going to pieces without falling apart was inspired by the title of a book by New York psychiatrist Mark Epstein, that Mikkelborg had seen by accident in a shop window . Based on a work created in 2004 for violin, harp and strings Mikkelborg adapted the violin part for this recording for Michala Petri. The twelve parts of the composition bear evocative titles - perhaps as a remembrance of his many encounters with musicians from various cultures. Mikkelborg's own special description for the feeling that these trans-cultural encounters produce in him is "overtones" - that indescribable bond that connect people around the world regardless of their religious or cultural background . Despite the pictorial movement titles, he wants his work to be understood as absolute music.

And in fact, a short time after I put in the CD and set the booklet aside, I let myself be carried away by the sounds and the magic of this music. Going to pieces without falling apart is not a double concerto in the traditional sense - in some sections only one of the two solo instruments clearly dominates while in others, the musical development is mainly taken up by the strings. Rather, there are moods, which combine different musical influences into a fascinating and poetic whole. For me, the most beautiful moments were in the seventh movement, Gentle Summer Rain, an atmospheric interlude with the liquid glissandi of the solo harp, the atmospheric Spiritual Carousel with its menacing sound layers and Lullabies in which the recorder and harp alternate with haunting murmurs and whispers in the strings.

Mikkelborg's music defies categorization – and that is just what makes it so special. His music communicates. This particularly applies to the second work on the CD, Afterthoughts in which Mikkelborg also leaves his personal signature as a musician. This "afterthought" sraws on motifs and moods from Going to pieces... (such as the aforementioned harp glissandi or the dramatic clusters) and organically reassembles them, as if his electric trumpet were a natural part of the same. Beautiful music for meditation, dreams and hope – performed clearly, directly and honestly. Music of our time, in the best sense of the word.

Michala Petri's crystalline tone, Helen Davies expressive-sonorous harp and not least Mikkelborg's characteristic, mystic trumpet sound elevate this recording into a special listening experience. Henrik Vagn Christensen leads the superbly arranged orchestra from Sønderborg with great sensitivity to the score, and it explores the lyrical moods as effectively as in the more dramatic moments.
Music for long winter evenings and warm summer nights; music you want to hear again and again because it is deeply human.
Heinz Braun 30.10.13
Wertung: 10 / 10 / 10




Klassik Heute Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
The Danish National Vocal Ensemble
The Nightingale
Great Audiophile Audition review on The Nightingale
Audiophile Audition
21 February 2013
An essential disc of world premieres that stuns the senses and absolutely delights the ear.

I hate jumping on bandwagons and like to think that for the most part I can come to decisions myself without the influence of the international press, but in this case I have to follow them with no little eagerness. This new album by the ever-inventive Michala Petri and the spectacular Danish National Vocal Ensemble that collects four commissioned world premieres is nothing short of astonishing, having garnered—so far—a Deutsche Phono-Akademie 2012 ECHO Klassik Award, plus a Gramophone nomination, less notable to be sure, but still important.

One would wonder at the wisdom of assembling a choral group with only a recorder as the solo instrument, but the cleverness with which each of these composers integrates the instrument into the textures of their music, each with a specific design in mind, is most impressive. As on any disc there will be favorites, and in my mind all four works are not equal in importance or the impression they make. Latvian composer Ugis Praulins has created the best work on the disc, taking eight sections from Hans Christian Andersen's The Nightingale to make a 30-minute piece of great theatricality and ecstatic utterance, notwithstanding what also amounts to a full-fledged recorder concerto as well. Praulins has a wide and eclectic background that refuses to be pigeonholed, so I won't try here; suffice it to say that this piece grabs you immediately while also giving the choir an intense workout in choral virtuosity and range, the recorder commenting perfectly along the way.

Daniel Börtz, whom many readers may recognize, treats us to a much darker world of choral sound, not surprising since his earlier years were heavily influenced by the sonorities of the Polish avant-garde. Here he takes two texts from the botanist and physician Carl Linnaeus, "The Dietetics of Respiration" and "Nemesis divina", a meditation on theodicy written for his son. The piece revels in the brokenness of the word settings, using the text as a springboard for intensely manifested passages that almost over-emote their innate meaning. One does not come away with an impression of the words as a meaning in total, but of individual moments focusing on one word or a group of words.

Faroe Islands native Sunleif Rasmussen presents us with the most "difficult" work on this disc (though none of them are terribly esoteric) by taking the text of Danish modernist poet Inger Christensen's response to Wallace Stevens's Thirteen Ways at looking at a Blackbird, focusing on intimacy and the freedom of the individual. Though the piece is structured, it is done in such a manner that the number organization used to represent several of the phrases mean little to the listener, who instead is drawn into the variety of independent voices and disparate, dissonant melodies. A work like this, though loaded with fascinating sounds and colors, uses the text as inspiration instead of trying to illuminate the meaning.

The final work by eclectic Danish composer Peter Braun uses two poems by Gerard Manly Hopkins, whose many "bird" poems serve as metaphors for the human condition and their souls, enabling a poetic excursion into his very personal contemplation of the world and the divine. Both pieces are wonderfully reflective of Hopkin's world, using a modified consonance inundated with arpeggios and appoggiaturas and pentatonic melody to create waves of fragmented songlike melody.

The surround sound on this disc is resonant and spectacular, with the voices soaring over your head. Despite some of the more challenging moments on this disc, it would be a crime to not acquire it. Excellent notes, complete with full texts round out the project.

Published on August 25, 2012—Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition

Michala Petri, recorder
The Danish National Vocal Ensemble
The Nightingale
Great review in MusicWeb International on The Nightingale
Music Web International
01 January 2013
These are all world premiere recordings and feature the combination of Michala Petri's flute, the Danish National Vocal Ensemble directed by Stephen Layton, and some enjoyable new music from Swedish composer Daniel Börtz, Latvian Ugis Praulins, the Dane Peter Bruun and Faroese composer Sunleif Rasmussen.

Praulins' 2010 The Nightingale takes a text after Hans Christian Andersen (in English) broken down into nine sections, or eight tableaux and a reprise to be strictly accurate. It's better known as The Emperor and the Nightingale. This is directly communicative, aurally piquant music, so different from the sterile, audience-denying academism still sometimes to be found. Startling glissandi and rich contrast animate the music, so too antique-sounding airs, and succinct evocation and romance.Proulin's utilises Petri's technical adroitness at fast tonguing, and there are plenty of opportunities for bird imitation, whether real or mechanical – in the latter case adding mechanical, rhythmic, jagged qualities too. He takes the recorder up high, infiltrates troubadour warmth and has constructed a rich, warm, avid setting, clearly responding to Andersen's texts with imagination and flair.

Nemesis divina was written by Börtz in 2006. The text is by Carl von Linné, better known as Linnaeus (1707-1778), the botanist and physician. Petri employs, as instructed, multiple recorders from tenor to sopranino, and this vests the music with plenty of colour. Fortunately Börtz is a subtle colourist and his richly voiced choral writing works well. The recorder lines perhaps evoke Messaien but there is a strong and questioning independence in the writing, and a sense of things remaining incomplete in the final lines of the text.

An equally well structured work is Rasmussen's "I". The recorder's often incessant commentary adds to the density of the solo and choral writing, leading to a visionary and raptly beautiful recorder meditation as the work draws to a close. Finally Bruun's Two scenes with Skylark takes two poems by Hopkins — as with all the other texts, they are set in English, a tribute to the linguistic superiority of the vocal ensemble. In The Sea and the Skylark the lark ascends against the crash of the sea, a vehemence conveyed with precise calibration; so, too, the rather dour interpretation of the stark last lines of the poem. Bruun vests The Caged Skylark with a stuttering rhythm, and this proves effective.

Each of these composers has his own strong voice and his own way of reconciling the recorder, or recorders, with choral and/or solo voices in these settings. There is variety here, an exploration of a precise sound-world, a sensitive exploration of text and sonority, and a — never simplistic — wish to communicate with fellow performers and with listeners.
Jonathan Woolf, March 2012



Music Web International

Michala Petri, recorder
The Danish National Vocal Ensemble
The Nightingale
Enthusiastic review in German Magazine Klassik Heute on The Nightingale
Klassik Heute Magazine
10 October 2012
Wertung: 10 / 10 / 10

Kennen Sie das? Sie hören nicht einmal zwanzig Sekunden einer neuen CD und sind schon vollends gebannt vom überwältigenden Klang und einer Musik, die mit Macht den Hörer in ihr eigenes Universum entführt –  Liebe auf's erste Hören sozusagen!
Ich finde kaum Worte, die geeignet wären, den Zauber zu beschreiben, der von dieser brillanten und poetischen, so noch nie gehörten Musik für Chor und Blockflöte ausgeht, die von vier skandinavischen Komponisten für Michala Petri komponiert wurde. Glückliche Komponisten! Idealere Interpreten als Petri und das ebenso phänomenale Danish National Vocal Ensemble unter Stephen Layton kann man sich nicht vorstellen. Sie meistern ihre teils aberwitzig virtuosen Partien mit einer Professionalität und einem hörbar emotionalen Engagement, das seinesgleichen sucht.
Michala Petri und Lars Hannibal von OUR Recordings haben offenbar ein untrügliches Gespür für Qualität und Originalität. Davon zeugen nicht allein die vielen, von der internationalen Kritik hoch gelobten Aufnahmen und innovativen Programme des noch relativ jungen Labels, auch die vier nordischen Komponisten dieser CD hat man mit Bedacht gewählt. Jedes Werk steht für eine eigenständige Künstlerpersönlichkeit, einen individuellen Stil.
Das mit fast einer halben Stunde Spieldauer längste Werk eröffnet das Programm: The Nightingale (nach Hans Christian Andersen) des lettischen Komponisten Ugis Praulins. Das 2010 für Petri geschriebene Stück beginnt in mystischer Atmosphäre, um sich nach und nach zu strahlendem Glanz emporzuschwingen. Meisterhaft verbindet Praulins in seinen konzertanten Tableaus Einflüsse aus Folk, Pop, Mittelalter und Renaissance mit klassischer Moderne und Anklängen an die große Chor- und Volksliedtradition seiner Heimat zu einem musikalischen Amalgam, das mit seiner hochoriginellen Klangsprache und zauberhaften Blockflötensoli sofort für sich einnimmt.
Daniel Börtz, einer der angesehensten schwedischen Komponisten der Gegenwart, hatte 2002 bereits ein Blockflötenkonzert für Michala Petri komponiert („Pipes and Bells", zu hören auf der Grammy-nominierten CD Movements – OUR Recordings), als er sich nur wenige Jahre später anlässlich der Dreihundertjahrfeier des Geburtstages des großen schwedischen Naturforschers Carl von Linné erneut mit der Blockflöte beschäftigte: Herb, kühn und dramatisch, auf ganz eigene Art expressiv, gibt sich seine Nemesis divina (nach Texten von Linnés) – kraftvolle, reife Musik. Sunleif Rasmussen, der erste „akademisch" ausgebildete Komponist von den im Staatenverbund mit Dänemark weitgehend autonomen Färöer-Inseln im Nord-Atlantik, überzeugt in One mit einer intimen, eher kammermusikalischen Faktur. In der Riege skandinavischer Komponisten darf natürlich Dänemark nicht fehlen, hier vertreten durch den 1968 geborenen Peter Bruun, der für Petri Two Scenes with Skylark auf Texte des victorianischen Dichters und Priesters Gerard Manley Hopkins verfasste, deren Chortextur traditionelle und sonoristische Elemente mischt.
Zum Standard bei OUR Recordings gehört neben der selbstverständlich audiophilen Aufnahmequalität die liebevolle Ausstattung des Beihefts mit kompletten Gesangstexten, Fotos und biographischen Abrissen der Komponisten und Künstler sowie ausgezeichneten, hilfreichen Werkeinführungen. 
Eine der stimmigsten, zutiefst berührenden und gleichzeitig neuartigsten Blockflöten-Aufnahmen der letzten Jahre!

Heinz Braun
(14.03.2012)

Klassik Heute Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
Great Infodad review on English Recorder Concertos
Infodad
17 September 2012
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.

Infodad, Canada  May 2012


Infodad

Palle Mikkelborg
Going To Pieces - Without Falling Apart
Great review on Going to Pieces without Falling Apart in UK Music Magazine IRR
IRR Magazine
17 September 2012
International Record Review IRR (UK) Contemporary music of CD by Roger Thomas
Certain things happen in new music that no one could make up, such as the fact that the intersection of a Venn diagram featuring Danish jazz trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg and British author Anthony Burges would contain a recorder. The former's Going to Pieces Without falling Apart is described as a concerto and while strictly speaking its construction in 13 very short discrete fragtments belies this, it's quite extraordinarily effective. Mikkelborg is of the spacious, near-ambient trumpet school which includes Jon Hassell and Nils Petter Molvaer, so a work involving a string orchestra, harp (played by Helen Davies, whose lively yet precise articulation carries much of the piece) and, indeed, recorder (Michala Petri, this being her label) is well suited to his ethereal sonic territory. (October 2013)
IRR Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
Great review in International Record Review on English Recorder Concertos
International Record Review
17 September 2012
Review on English Recorder Concertos in International Record Review:

Michala Petri is a phenomenon, seemingly unstoppable in her pursuit of new territory for her chosen instrument. If the modern recorder has never quite achieved the high-profile status it surely had in the Baroque era, this is not for want of continued endeavour on her part – and at her hands it may even yet happen. The child prodigy of the 1960s from Denmark, who seemed able to tackle anything from sonatas of Handel or Telemann to the complexities of a piece such as Berio's Gesti with equal aplomb, has long since turned into a mature artist. Most recently the creation of her own label, OUR Recordings has enabled Petri and guitarist Lars Hannibal, to give durable form and wide circulation of the variety of music they have exposed, anything from Mozart to recorder concertos from China and Viennese salon music,- and much else besides.
The Chinese connection continues with the present release, which is partly the fruit of Petri's successful collaboration in 2009 with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. No allowances need be made on any front, musical or technical: the accompaniments as directed by the orchestra's current chief conductor Jean thorel are always alert, and the recorded sound, emanating from one of the orchestra's regular showcase venues, the concert hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, is excellent. The booklet notes are likewise very thorough if once or twice a trifle gusting, while several evocative photographs of Stonehenge and the Lake District are included to reinforce the essential Englishness of the sonic fare on offer.
The last comes in 3 guises, one (from 2009) by living British composer who likes to defy pigeon-holding, and the other two (from 1957 and 1988 respectively) by a pair of last century Englishmen, one of whom was a pupil of the other: on the CD, three items appear in the reverse chronological order.
Thus richard Harvey's Concertos Incantato occupies pride of place at the start of the disc – rightly so, as it was not only a commission from the present orchestra to the present soloist but it also, at nearly 30 minutes, by some margin the most ambitious work here. The idiom is straightforwardly tonal, tuneful even, and Harvey seems cheerfully determined to give the lie to the recorder's oft-proclaimed limited expressive means, though he never quite ventures into the avant-garde areas which are explored in the above-mentioned Berio piece. The five movements, neatly contrasted, some distinctly challenging for the fingers, bear pictorial titles as "Sorcery", "Still Life" etc. and culminate in a lengthy finale called "Incantations" that feels rather like a set of variations or meditations on a tune first heard in the preceding movement. Petri's required to use what the notes call "the full set of recorders"; this seems to extend only down to the tenor recorder, but I could swear that I once caught a glimpse of the rare specimen, the bass recorder. It looked rather dangerous.
The Concerto, op. 133  by Malcolm Arnold was one of the fruits of his bewitchment by Petri's playing in the late 1980s. Just when, after the sombre Ninth Symphony, he was inclined to give up composing altogether, Petri (along with Julian Lloyd Webber and his cello) somehow re-kick-started his muse. Unmistakably Arnoldian, it is a small-scale but remarkable inventive late work that harks to the airy tone and style of some of his much earlier pieces, the three delectable Sinfoniettas in particular. Petri has remained loyal to the piece, often performing it in concerts; she also made a 1992 recording with Okku Kamu conducting, bravely coupling it with the new recorder works by Koppel, Holmboe, Kulesha and Asger Lund Christiansen – unsurprisingly, perhaps, that disc has long since vanished. So this new performance, little different from its predecessor, is doubly welcome.
Gordon Jacob was Arnold's composition mentor when the latter was a student, principally of the trumpet, at the Royal College of music round the outbreak of the Second World War. Though not a vast amount of Jacob's music is heard in the concert hall these days, he is prolific in his time, seemingly allying a natural fluency to the impeccable craftsmanship predictable from so eminent a teacher. His Suite (of seven short movements, whose titles include "English Dance", "Pavane" and "Tarantella") has an accompaniment for strings alone. It has had only two previous recordings, I think, neither of which I have managed to hear. Petri with ASMF and Kenneth Sillito coupled it with works by William Babel, John Baston and Handel on a 1984 release (reissued on Phillips 476 164-2). More recently Annabel Knight recorded it along with an assortment of other Jacob recorder works, many originally written for Carl Dolmetsch, with the Maginni Quartet and others (Naxos 8.572364). The Suite perhaps plumbs no great depths – nothing here does – but the layout of the music itself, plus the sheer sound of the recorder(s) and Michala Petri's playing of them, all inevitably,bring to mind a pathos, even melancholy, redolent of an earlier Elizabethan age. Thus this welcome release can truly be said to contain many "Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not".
Piers Burton-Page IRR, July/August 2012
International Record Review

Michala Petri, recorder
The Danish National Vocal Ensemble
The Nightingale
5 star review on The Nightingale in Danish Magazine Klassisk
Klassisk Magazine
14 September 2012
SOM FØDT TIL HINANDEN
5 star review on The Nightingale in Danish Magazine Klassisk

Michala Petri spænder musikalsk milevidt. Efter sidste års Grammy-nominerede cd med kinesiske koncerter optræder hun her med det toptrimmede DR VokalEnsemblet i fire ny værker af nordiske komponister.
Siden fløjtens fødsel har de to urinstrumenter sang og fløjte dannet musikalsk partnerskab. Konstellationen er oplagt, for den luftige blokfløjte og de flydende mennskestemmer matcher hinanden i overjordisk harmoni.
At lade fløjten agere fuglestemme er også indlysende. Lettiske Ugis Praulins (f.1957) er ophavsmand til værket The Nightingale, hvis engelske sangtekst består af brudstykker fra H.C.Andersens eventyr. Fantasifuldt lader Praulins blokfløjten illustrere nattergalen. Det høres, at Ugis Praulins har rødder i Letlands rock-og folkemusik: I The Nightingale møder atonal lettisk folkemusik alt fra jazzrytmer, flydende koraler med fløjtemønstre til talesang og håndklap. Slutningen minder om Howard Shores soundtrack til Ringenes Herre. Et avanceret værk, der konstant skifter klanglig og tempomæssig karakter.
Peter Bruun (f.1968) bruger i sit værk Skylark to digte af den britiske digter Gerard Manley Hopkins. Musikken svæver poetisk - igen med fløjten som fugl.
Vi hører i værkerne Michala Petri skifte behændigt mellem dybe og høje fløjter. Også i svenske Daniel Böertzs (f.1943) himmelske Nemesis divina. Teksten er skrevet af svenske Carl von Linné, men oversat til engelsk. Slutningen med de høje, skringre sopraninoskrig står som en flot effekt.
Færøske Sunleif Rasmussen (f.1961) og Michala Petri har før samarbejdet om solokompositioner. I sit kor-og fløjteværk bruger Rasmussen et digt af afdøde Inger Christensen. Værket hedder I, på dansk Jeg. Heri kredser kor og fløjte tæt, efter at en dyb, sælsom basfløjtesolo har indledt værket.
Den eminente engelske kordirigent Stephen Layton styrer med autoritet sangere og blokfløjtesolist gennem de komplekse klange. Også DR VokalEnsemblets medlemmer udfylder overbevisende deres solistroller. Sangerne stråler og Petri flytter som vanligt fingrene i vanvittig fart, eller hun former smukt de langsomme fraser. Denne klangrejse gennem Norden er en times intense toner, som fortjener flere lytninger. Christine Christiansen, March 2012

Klassisk Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
Great UK Magazine International Record Review on English Recorder Concertos
International Record Review
20 August 2012
International Record review (IRR)

Michala Petri is a phenomenon, seemingly unstoppable in her pursuit of new territory for her chosen instrument. If the modern recorder has near quite achieved the high-profile status it surely had in the Baroque era, this is not for want of continued endeavor on her part - and at her hands it may even
yet happen. The child prodigy of the 1960s from Denmark, who seemed able to tackle anything from the sonatas of Handel or Telemann to the complexities of a piece such as Berio's Gesti with equal aplomb, has long since turned into a mature artist. Most recently the creation of her own record label, OUR Recordings, has enabled Petri and her guitarist husband, Lars Hannibal, to give durable form and
wide circulation to the wide variety of music they have espoused, anything from Mozart to recorder concertos from China and Viennese salon music, and much else besides.

The Chinese connection continues with the present release, which is partly the fruit of Petri's successful collaboration in 2009 with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong kong. No allowances need be made on any front, musical or technical; the accompaniments as directed by the orchestra's current chief conductor, Jean Thorel are always alert, and the recorded sound, emanating from one of the orchestra's regular showcase venues, the concert hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, is excellent. The booklet notes are likewise very thorough if once or twice a trifle gushing, while several evocative photographs of Stonehenge and the Lake District are included to reinforce the essential Englishness of the sonic fare on offer.

The last comes in three guises, one (from 2009) by a living British composer who likes to defy pigeon-holing, and the other two (from 1957m and 1988 respectively) by a pair of last-century Englishmen, one of whom was a pupil of the other; on the CD, the three items appear in reverse chronological order.

Thus Richard Harvey's Concerto Incantato occupies pride of place at the start of the disc - rightly so, as it was not only a commission from the present soloist but it also, at nearly 30 minutes, by some margin the most ambitious work here. The idiom is straightforwardly tonal, tuneful even, and Harvey seems characteristically determined to give the lie to the recorder's oft-proclaimed limited expressive means, though he never quite ventures into the avant-garde areas which are explored in the above-mentioned Berio piece. The five movements, neatly contrasted, some distinctly challenging for the fingers, bear pictorial titles such as 'Sorcery', 'Still Life', etc. and culminate in a lengthy finale called 'Incantations' that feels rather like a set of variations or meditations on a tune first heard in the preceding movement. Petri is required to use what the notes call 'the full set of recorders'; this seems to extend only down to the tenor recorder, but I could swear that I once caught glimpse of the rare specimen, the bass recorder. It looked rather dangerous.

The Concerto, op. 133 by Malcolm Arnold was one of the fruits of his bewitchment by Petri's playing in the late 1980s. Just when, after the sombre Ninth Symphony, he was inclined to give up composing altogether, Petri (along with Julian Lloyd Webber and his cello) somehow re-kick-started his muse. Unmistakably Arnoldian, it is a small-scale but remarkably inventive late work that harks back to the
airy tone and style of some of his much earlier pieces, the three delectable Sinfoniettas in particular. Petri has remained loyal to the piece, often performing it in concerts; she also made a 1992 recording with Okko Kamu conducting, bravely coupling it with new recorder works by Koppel, Holmboe, Kulesha and Asget Lund Christiansen - unsurprisingly, perhaps, that disc has long since vanished.
So this new performance, little different from its predecessor, is doubly welcome.

Gordon Jacob was Arnold's composition mentor when the latter was a student, principally of the trumpet, at the Royal College of Music round about the outbreak of the Second World War. Though not a vast amount of Jacob's music is heard in the concert hall these days, he was prolific in his time, seemingly allying a natural fluency to the impeccable craftsmanship predictable from so eminent a teacher. His Suite (of seven short movements, whose titles include 'English Dance', 'Pavane' and 'Tarantella') has an accompaniment for strings alone. It has only two previous recordings, I think, neither of which I have managed to hear. Petri with the ASMF and Kenneth Sillito coupled it with  works by William Babell, John Baston and Handel on a 1984 release (reissued on Philips 476 164-2). More recently Annabel Knight recorded it along with an assortment of other Jacob recorder works, many originally written for Carl Dolmetsch, with the Maggini Quartet and others (Naxos 8.572364).
The Suite perhaps plumbs no great depths - nothing here does - but the layout of the music itself, plus the sheer sound of the recorder(s) and Michala Petri's playing of them, all inevitably bring to mind a
pathos, even melancholy, redolent of an earlier Elizabethan age. Thus this welcome release can truly be said to contain many 'Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not'.
Piers Burton-Page,- July/August 2012
International Record Review

Michala Petri, recorder
City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
English Recorder Concertos
Great review on English Recorder Concertos in US Magazine The Whole Note
The Whole Note
20 August 2012
Of the many works written for the recorder over the last century, few of the neo-classical or neo-impressionist examples ever make it onto concert programs or CDs, so it's good to see the release of this recording. Opening the program is Richard Harvey's Concerto Incantato, written for soloist Michala Petri in 2009. Using a variety of sizes of recorder over five movements, Harvey writes beautifully for the instrument and the piece also sweetly reflects his sensibilities as a composer for film and television. Here's hoping that the piece receives more performances by recorder players around the world!
Following the Harvey is Malcolm Arnold's diminutive Concerto Op.133, written for Petri in 1988, and his inclusion of winds in the orchestration makes for a welcome colour change. Gordon Jacob's exemplary seven-movement Concerto for alto (and sopranino) recorder and strings closes the program. Written in 1957 for Carl Dolmetsch, it blends the strengths of both string and recorder worlds and is given a definitive and expressive reading here.
Conducted by Jean Thorel, the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong is superlative throughout, and Michala Petri, one of the recorder's leading figures of the past 40 years, is completely at home in this repertoire.

The Whole Note

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
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