Paul PATTERSON Wind Quintet;
Comedy; Westerly Winds
Luis TINOCO Autumn Wind
James OLSEN Imbroglio
Gustav HOLST Wind Quintet
Meridian CDE84429 [69.30]
A stylish production, with cover picture by the Galliard Ensemble's
clarinettist, Katherine Spencer. Something to please everyone, and hopefully
nothing to scare away more timid listeners. It falls into two groups, and
my preference was for the young composers represented. Those include,
paradoxically, Paul Patterson, born1947 and now a leading figure in
London's musical education. His abrasive, sometimes raucous student Quintet,
composed when he was twenty to stretch himself and his players to the limits,
is a great success and entirely worth reviving as a centre piece of the recital.
And the Galliard Ensemble has reaped good rewards from its enterprising
annual competition for young composers seeking recognition and performances.
No special pleading needed for James OLSEN, a precociously gifted
schoolboy with a number of prestigious performances under his belt. His
Imbroglio ('a difficult situation between people') put me in mind
of Nielsen's quirky Quintet, which portrays the personalities of the original
players. Luis TINOCO, a Portuguese student of Patterson at RAM in
London, is represented with a solid contribution to the growing contemporary
repertoire, wind quintet in two contrasted movements, the first introspective
and brooding, the other more strident with material in rhythmic unison, vigorous
and 'frozen' by turns, and contrasting extreme gestures; never formulaic,
it keeps you wondering how it will go. Both these prize-winning compositions
should continue to win welcomes on the recital circuit, and they make me
look forward to other music by their composers.
Less innovative maybe is Holst's quintet of 1903, rediscovered and premiered
only in 1982. Likewise Patterson's Comedy and Westerly Winds,
perfectly crafted, clever music in a popular vein. The first has a Blues
and a Hornpipe (reverse variations, its drunken protagonist only
becoming clear headed and fully revealed at the end - like d'Indy's
Istar in hers, and Schmidt's Hussar); the other (1999, for
the Galliards) is a group of fantasias assembled from West Country
folktunes. These will both join favourite wind ensemble music by Arnold
and Francaix to give sure-fire pleasure on the concert circuit.
Excellent ensemble playing and vivid recording.
Peter Grahame Woolf