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BandWorld, September 2015

Three great overtures are included on this program; Luisa Miller, La Cenerentola, and the Barber of Seville. …For the wind music enthusiast seeking something different, this splendid recording is for you. © 2015 BandWorld

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2015

Arrangements for various sized groups were commonplace in the 19th century, and this was particularly the case with opera, where the music became ‘pop’ classics. Here the bassoonist and conductor, Michele Mangani, has transcribed overtures from Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, and Luisa Miller, together with music from Cavalleria rusticana, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tosca and L’Italiana in Algeri, for eleven wind instruments and double bass. At times, as in the overtures to Il Barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola, the original score was so dependent on wind instruments, you hardly miss the strings. Where he does have real success comes with a bassoon showpiece in the fantasy on excerpts from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. It is superbly played by the founder of the European Wind Soloists, and Principal bassoon of the Vienna Symphony, Patrick De Ritis. Much the same applies to the Fantasia concertante on L’Italiana in Algeri, a brilliant piece for oboe, bassoon and wind ensemble. Depending on the works being performed, De Ritis’s ensemble is adaptable in size as it draws upon principles of the major Vienna and Italian orchestras. Some chording could have been tightened up with retakes, but the solo passages are beautifully shaped and played. A release no wind instrument fancier should be without. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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