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WETA, August 2012

For this recording the Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä has chosen two of Pleyel’s 48 known symphonies, as well as a flute concerto with conductor Patrick Gallois doing double duty. The concerto is fairly typical of Pleyel’s musical repurposing; it was published as a clarinet and a cello concerto at the same time. © 2012 WETA Read complete article



Lawrence Hansen
American Record Guide, May 2012

…well crafted and bounces right along—tuneful, too…The performances by the Finnish orchestra…under their French conductor-soloist are first-rate: lively, concentrated, polished, and direct. Gallois doesn’t try to turn Pleyel into Mozart, and that works just fine. The three major key works here are almost unrelentingly cheerful, without a cloud even in the slow movements. It’s the kind of pleasant but undemanding background music some of the automated “classical Muzak” radio stations like to program. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, April 2012

Pleyel did not blaze any trails in his music, and he never hesitated to re-score and pick-’n’-mix his works to make money—the Flute Concerto, for example, appeared simultaneously in a version for clarinet and another for cello. Even so, his music was extremely popular in his lifetime above all because it was always well crafted, melodious and original, with an abundance of memorable themes and surprising turns of direction—all of which is exemplified by these substantial Haydn-flavoured Symphonies. Moreover, there is little evidence in the Flute Concerto that “after about 1792 his talent seems to have diminished; his inventiveness waned and he occasionally succumbed to routine procedures”, as Rita Benton rather cavalierly writes in the New Grove.

Though little known and widely unpronounceable outside Finland, the Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä is a very decent ensemble, with a vivid, robust, expressive sound, not to mention a mass of recordings to their credit, including many for Naxos under Gallois…

Sound quality in this recording is pretty good. There is at least one editing join, in the G major Symphony, but it is unobtrusive and in general the production is creditable—for example, unless otherwise specified by the composer, it is always nice to have plenty of silence between movements. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review



John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, March 2012

The album begins with two of Pleyel’s multitudinous works, the Symphony in B flat major…and the Symphony in G major…They are elegant, charming, bouncy, cheerful, and endlessly entertaining. The music is light and airy, with delightfully lilting melodies.

Using an orchestra of modest proportions…Gallois is able to produce buoyant rhythms and clear, clean textures appropriate to the tunes. The slow movements are particularly lithe, radiating a special glow that is hard to resist.

…the Flute Concerto in C major…is the highlight of the program…Gallois has it all cornered as well, conducting with a liquid, flowing hand and playing with grace and sensitivity.

Smooth and life-like, the sound is among Naxos’s best. We also hear a pleasant ambient bloom, but not so much resonance that it veils important detail. The ensemble, relatively small, not much more than a chamber orchestra, reflects those of the Classical Period, and the Naxos sound provides ample transparency for them. This is fairly easy-going music, and as such it doesn’t require much crash, boom, bang. The engineers miked it to reveal a suitable distance, too, giving the listener the feeling of being in an actual concert hall, the whole presentation doing just about everything right.

…you get your money’s worth here, a proposition all the more attractive when you consider the relatively low cost of the disc. © 2012 Classical Candor Read complete review



Brian Wilson Download Roundup
MusicWeb International, January 2012

With good recording, informative notes and at a tempting price, this is highly recommendable. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2012

For a brief period the music of Ignaz Pleyel enjoyed a popularity that exceeded his mentor, Joseph Haydn, though by his death it had almost become forgotten. Born in 1757, he had been fortunate enough to have the patronage of Count Erdody who funded his education, later appointing him as his kapellmeister and then provided the money for his years submerged in Italian music. He was to undergo a change of direction in his later years when his time was largely placed at the disposal of his flourishing music publishing business and piano manufacturing. We will never know if he would have developed his style, but when he died in 1831 it was already dated, and Beethoven had arrived. The two symphonies on this release come from the 1780’s when he was in his most productive period, and were cast in the conventional four movements. Though others find influences of Italian music in his works, to my ears these scores come in straight lineage from Haydn, with some bold horn writing in outer movements. Maybe they needed more substantial Minuets, but the G major is certainly in the same league as early Haydn, both exhibiting a high degree of craftsmanship. It would appear the Flute Concerto dates from the late 1790’s and is played in a recent edition by Jean-Pierre Rampal. It is in the style of orchestral passages followed by those for a virtuoso flute with a functional orchestral backdrop. …it is always pleasing with a brilliant cadenza in the first movement…The performance from Patrick Gallois is excellent, while his direction of the Sinfonia Finlandia brings suitable incisive playing to outer movements.






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7:51:27 AM, 20 April 2014
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