The "Piracy" of the title is a reference
to the fact that these are pieces for recorder (with keyboard accompaniment)
appropriated from other instruments. The disc does not say directly
who has been responsible for the arrangements, though these are, I suspect,
fairly straightforward ones. In principle this is reasonable enough
as many transcriptions for recorder, and indeed for every other instrument
under the sun, have always been made and two from the baroque era appear
on this disc. However, whether intending purchasers wish to hear a whole
CD of them – luckily, maybe, this runs for just a touch under an hour
– is a matter for each and everyone of them to judge for themselves.
Much of the music here is by J S Bach and a large part
of that is taken from keyboard originals of one kind or another. As
the CD insert points out, the sound of a recorder is not dissimilar
to that of a baroque chamber organ, so it was perhaps natural to adapt
a trio sonata and the celebrated chorale prelude on Wach Auf.
Bach is also raided for a movement from one of the French Suites, three
of the lively Inventions and the short Violin Sonata in E Minor.
In contrast, the Purcell transcriptions come from stage
or vocal works (though A New Ground is known in both instrumental
and vocal versions). These are all very enjoyable and excellently played
but in all, or virtually all, cases the original is preferable and in
these days of great accessibility, is available in at least one CD version.
However, Schmelzer’s Cu Cu Sonata, originally for violin, is
much less well known, as is the rather later English example by Edward
Finch(!) Both are sonatas, in several brief, continuous sections, and
both show off Miss Lacey’s very considerable virtuosity. Even more so
does Folies (La Follia), variations on a grand bass, by
the French composer Marin Marais with additions by Corelli. Geminiani’s
setting, originally violin, of a Scots air attributed to Mary Queen
of Scots’ music master Rizzio, is haunting indeed. I found these last
four tracks more interesting than the rest.
Genevieve Lacey is Australian, who has studied both
in Australia and in Europe, and is clearly a player to be reckoned with.
She does attempt to provide variety by playing on various different
types of recorder, among them voice flute, descant and treble. Linda
Kent is American born but a long-time Australian resident. She accompanies
on chamber-organ (in more than half the 18 tracks) and on single and
double manual harpsichords. Good recording and presentation; a cautious
welcome, then, for this release with the suggestion that it is most
sensibly listened to a few tracks at a time. Antipodes, by the way,
is a division of ABC Classics.
Philip L Scowcroft
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