, September 2008
Froscher is a marvellous performer on an under-appreciated instrument. His tone is dark and mellow, his technique is spotless, and his phrasing is sensitive. And there is great music to be heard here—the Mozart, Weber and Tchaikovsky may or may not be “masterpieces” but they’re all staples of their respective repertoires, for good reason. The Tchaikovsky works especially well in transcription, I think.
But the recommendation is a qualified one, for two reasons. First, the other two pieces here are far outshone. The piece which opens the program—the composer is the conductor of the whole recital—is a neo-Baroque-by-numbers affair, pleasant but unmemorable. The Balissat goes through four connected movements and a variety of (sometimes interesting) ideas without seeming to say much of anything. One is left with the impression that the euphonium world has two options —forgettable original music or not-always-suitable transcriptions. … the euphonium (especially in Froscher’s hands) stays mellow throughout…
The orchestral accompaniment is uniformly excellent, and the recorded sound is very well balanced. Euphonium fans need not hesitate. For the curious, there are worse ways to spend a little money.