, May 2008
Michala Petri is one of today’s leading instrumentalists. The amazing capabilities of the recorder in the hands of a virtuoso are admirably demonstrated in Ms. Petri’s rendition of the Albert Lorentz variations for solo recorder (Philips 6514199).
Lars Hannibal is a musician well qualified to partner Ms. Petri in this recording of duets. He studied guitar at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and lute with Toyohiko Satoh in The Hague.
On the review disc the highly complementary nature of the two musicians is immediately evident. The guitar playing, essentially accompaniment, is never dominant; neither is it unnecessarily subdued or secondary. Mr. Hannibal manages the right balance between attack and empathy for his partner.
It was once suggested that to obtain the technically perfect face, all one must do is create a collage of separate features each individually considered to be perfect. The results of such endeavours are invariably disappointing and fall short of that anticipated.
On this occasion the collage of outstanding individual musicianship, fine duet playing and excellent programme music produces less than that anticipated on several of the tracks; in the Piazzolla I was unable to feel at ease with some of this music played on the recorder.
This same uneasiness emerges in the slow section of the Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No 5 (13). Interestingly arrangements for classical guitar and saxophone fare no better in this particular piece of music.
With no recollections of similar reactions to the Schaupp/Lacey recording I again reviewed their disc. The programme is all from late eighteenth and nineteenth century classical composers, which may in part explain the ease with which the recording garnered appeal.
This may be a reaction paralleling that experienced when listening to the saxophone playing classical music having enjoyed it predominantly in a jazz context. When considering arrangements/transcriptions of music and the instrument or combinations of instruments on which it is to be played, personal preferences are invariably a dominant factor.
It is interesting to note that five different recorders are used on this recording; the guitar played by Lars Hannibal is a fine Ignacio Fleta made in 1961.
My overall impression of the review disc is one of outstanding musicianship, great duo playing and a most enjoyable programme.
That said, some may require a period of adjustment before full appreciation of the recorder’s role in interpreting certain of the programme items is realised; others may have no problem with this combination.