Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The lyrical bassoon


The lyrical side of the bassoon fits the French sound of this music, providing a nostalgic sadness that the elegant accompaniments of Francaix, Tomasi and Jolivet only make sadder. Even the jauntier sounds of the quick movements stay away from the bassoon-as-clown stereotype; this is light music but not unserious. And though the great Villa-Lobos Ciranda das sete notas is from 1933, when the Brazilian master was exploring national folklore in his Bachianas Brasileiras and Guia pratico, it fits in nicely amongst its French cousins. Though it makes reference to Brazilian dance forms, there's as much nostalgie as saudade in this lovely music. The soloist Matthias Racz has a light touch and a lovely tone, and he receives stellar suport from the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester under Johannes Klumpp. This CD is not just for bassoon afficionados, though I'm sure they'll lap it up. It's also highly recommended for all fans of French music and Villa-Lobosians.

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