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Andrew Mayes
The Recorder Magazine, May 2013

This is a first-rate disc; recording and visual presentation are impressive, the orchestral playing decisive yet sympathetic and the three Works form a wonderfully contrasted programme. Michala Petri’s playing, it goes without saying, is impeccable and her music interpretation vivid. © 2013 The Recorder Magazine

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2012

…there are few happier sounds in this world than those of Petri’s recorders, and few that are as plangent and sweet. These three works are immensely likeable, and this SACD is just the thing to put a smile on your face after a hard day. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, September 2012

What a lovely disc this is! This is a collection of three English recorder concertos by Malcolm Arnold, Gordon Jacob, and Richard Harvey…Petri is asked to play several different recorders throughout, from tenor to sopranino. The recorders are accompanied by a delicate orchestra, consisting of strings, flutes, clarinets, harp, celesta, and percussion. As the movement titles suggest, this is elfin, magical music.

I have to confess it: I’ve loved every Michala Petri CD that has come my way, and it is too late to turn back now. She offers proof—if proof were needed—that the recorder transcends its schoolhouse associations by producing sounds that are both uncommonly plangent and sweet. Her many fans might be reluctant to duplicate the Arnold and Jacob works, but Harvey’s concerto is a most enjoyable discovery, and so there’s really nothing to do but to go out and purchase this CD as well! © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

James A. Altena
Fanfare, September 2012

Titled English Recorder Concertos, this release presents three works of that genre, the first being a premiere recording by its original performers…The Concerto Incantanto of Richard Harvey…is touted as “a new concerto for the Harry Potter generation.” Scored for the solo protagonist and a chamber orchestra of strings, woodwinds, piano, celeste, and percussion, its five movements…sketch musical portraits of magic and spirits. Fortunately, it is mostly much better than what such an advertisement might lead one to expect; while definitely lighter fare, it is tuneful, atmospheric, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Malcolm Arnold likewise composed his three-movement concerto for Petri, albeit back in 1988. It is a terrific piece, and there is no mistaking its sturdy British contours.

Michala Petri hardly needs any praise from me to add to her critical laurels. Given the subject of the first work, suffice it to say that her playing here is appropriately bewitching, and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and conductor Jean Thorel provide excellent support. The SACD recorded sound is exceptionally spacious and full-bodied…This enchanting disc has my spellbound recommendation. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, July 2012

Performed by incomparable instrumental soloist Michala Petri and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong under the direction of conductor Jean Thorel, these varied pieces demonstrate the range of once-maligned woodwind (recorder). From the dramatic opening of Harvey’s Concerto Incanto through the pastoral meanderings of Jacob’s Suite for Recorder and Strings, this is the music of European myth and history. Recommended. © 2012 Scene Magazine Read complete review

Piers Burton-Page
International Record Review, July 2012

…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 apathos, 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’. © 2012 International Record Review

Alison Melville
The WholeNote, June 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. 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…is completely at home in this repertoire. © 2012 The WholeNote Read complete review

Heinz Braun
Klassik heute, June 2012

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.

As always, OUR Recordings provides an attractive package…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! © 2012 Klassik Heute

Pizzicato, June 2012

Works largely ranging under the term “nice music”, played with admirable lightness and virtuosity by Michala Petri. © 2012 Pizzicato

John France
MusicWeb International, May 2012

This is one of the best CDs of recorder music that I have ever heard.

Michala Petri…has given a superb performance. Jean Thorel at the helm of the City Chamber Orchestra has contributed a sympathetic accompaniment to these three concertos.

This is an enjoyable CD that is well played and features a diverse programme. In spite of my reservations about the Malcolm Arnold Concerto and the stylistic balance of the Richard Harvey I feel that it will be essential listening for enthusiasts of recorder music. The presentation of the disc is impressive: it looks and feels good. The sound quality is excellent.

My favourite work, by a long shot, is Gordon Jacob’s Suite and I will turn to this recording to enjoy this piece on many occasions. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

James Manheim, May 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. Petri is icily superb throughout, but the real pleasure here is in the music, not simply the mechanics. © 2012 Read complete review

John France
British Classical Music: The Land of Lost Content, May 2012

This is one of the best CDs of recorder music that I have ever heard…I have never heard of Michala Petri—I ought to have. She is utterly brilliant…I have long regarded the legendary John Turner as being the master of recorder music. It is rare for me to listen to any work for this instrument that is not played or recorded by him. So this is, for me at any rate, new territory.

Harvey’s Concerto is interesting, if not totally satisfying.

…‘Natura Morta’ - Still Life…is a thoughtful, almost static piece of music that lulls the listener into a dream-like world.

In the round this is a reasonably impressive and virtuosic work…

The Suite opens with a delightfully ‘pastoral’ prelude. This is followed by a lively English dance which is just way too short. Then there is a ‘Lament’. The string writing here is particularly beautiful. I love the exiting ‘Burlesca alla Rumba’ which is all sunshine. The penultimate movement, an ‘Introduction and Cadenza’ is also illustrative of the landscape although this time in valedictory mood. For me it is the heart of the work. The finale ‘Tarantella’ is fun all the way. Jacob calls for the soprano recorder to give brightness and sparkle to the last moments of this Suite.

Jean Thorel at the helm of the City Chamber Orchestra has contributed a sympathetic accompaniment to these three concertos.

This is an enjoyable CD that is well played and features a diverse programme…it will be essential listening for enthusiasts of recorder music. The presentation of the disc is impressive: it looks and feels good. The sound quality is excellent. I enjoyed the liner notes—they are both informative and entertaining.

My favourite work, by a long shot, is Gordon Jacob’s Suite and I will turn to this recording to enjoy this piece on many occasions. © 2012 British Classical Music: The Land of Lost Content Read complete review, May 2012

This piece [Concerto Incantato], 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’s Concerto for Recorder and Orchestra (1988), also written for Petri, is a more-serious piece and sounds more substantial…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…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. © 2012 Read complete review

Gerald Fenech,
Music & Vision, May 2012

The soloist performs these pieces with spectacular virtuosity, and yet, her nimble fingering and miraculous breath control are a prime example of how this instrument should be approached and handled. Thorel and his Hong Kong forces give sympathetic support. A highly pleasurable disc that sheds some very important light on the hidden byways of English twentieth century music…sound-quality is as fine as anyone can hope for. © 2012 Music & Vision

Robert Benson, April 2012

we have another terrific recording by…on a new label, OUR Recordings. It is a total delight in every way, featuring three generations of English composers. Richard Harvey (b. 1953) has written music for many films. His Concerto Incantato written in 2009 for Petri is a delightful 5-movement suite. Malcolm Arnold (1921–2006) wrote his concerto in 1988 for Petri, and it is given a stunning performance (this is Petri’s third recording of it). A delightful close to the program is the Suite for Recorder and Strings composed in 1957 by Gordon Jacob (1896–1984), 7-movements ending with a dazzling Tarantella. Petri is in top form, the orchestra is wonderful, audio excellent…A quality issue, highly recommended! © 2012 Read complete review

Peter Grahame Woolf
Musical Pointers, March 2012

This is possibly the best of Michala Petri’s many recordings, especially so for British collectors.

The production of this CD is exemplary.

With overall production by Lars Hannibal and artwork…by Charlotte Petersen this is a model booklet… © 2012 Musical Pointers

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