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Vintage Brisk – Contemporary Music for
Recorder Quartet Ron FORD (b. 1959)
Sequentia (1996) [4:12] Bart VISMAN (b.
Song (2006) [2:45]
Hymn of Pan (2000)# [9:45] Theo ABAZIS (b.
1967) Johnny Buy (1999) [6:51] Roderik de MAN (b. 1941) Gotta minute? (2006) [1:36] Guus JANSSEN (b. 1951) Pogo 1 (2005)* [4:39] Rahoe! (2006) [1:28] Daan MANNEKE (b. 1939) La flūte de Pan (2000)# [7:35] Huba de GRAAF (b.
The Brisk Frog project (2006) [9:10] Calliope TSOUPAKI (b.
1963) 2000&1 (1999) [6:03] Estampida (2006) [1:48] Michiel MENSINGH (b. 1975)
Happy ‘Birds’- day (2006) [1:12]
Oh, I’m Sorry, Did I BREAK Your Concentration? (2005)* [10:21] Willem WANDER VAN NIEUWKERK (b.
Quartet (part 3) (1991) [6:36]
Catch (an Angel) (2006) [1:27]
Quartet Amsterdam; Tomoko Mukaiyama (piano)*;
Egidius Quartet #
rec. Hervormde kerk, Mijnesheerenland, May 2006 and Waalse
kerk, Amsterdam, September 2006 GLOBE GLO5220 [75:26]
Brisk Recorder Quartet Amsterdam celebrated its 20th anniversary
in 2006. In the meantime they made quite a reputation both
in ancient and contemporary music. Over these twenty years
they have commissioned a considerable number of works from
Dutch composers; a list is duly printed in the insert notes.
This anniversary release concentrates on Dutch works composed
by composers from different generations, since Daan Manneke
was born in 1939 - and is thus the ‘Grand Old Man’ here -
whereas Michiel Mensingh was born in 1975. Moreover, the
above details show the huge variety of Brisk’s commissions;
a few short works were composed for Brisk’s 20th anniversary.
Need I say that some of these composers and their works are
completely new to me?
are fifteen works in all, and I will not go into too many
details about them, since – as I have just mentioned – some
of them, particularly the works for the quartet’s 20th anniversary,
are really quite short. However, the huge stylistic range
is quite remarkable and many works turned out to be enjoyable
and often entertaining. There are nevertheless a few works
that call for comment. Most worthy of singling out are Manneke’s La
flūte de Pan and Visman’s Hymn of Pan.
These were composed for Brisk and the Egidius Quartet, the
latter – surprisingly enough – being a vocal quartet founded
in 1995 by four members of Ton Koopman’s Amsterdam Baroque
Choir. Manneke sets fragments from Pierre Lou’s’ Les Chansons
de Bilitis. This straightforward, but attractively made
setting is one of the highlights in this selection as is
Visman’s Hymn of Pan setting Shelley’s poem,
in which the singers also have to whistle softly. These are
the unquestionable highlights, which does not minimise the
worth of some of the other works, most of which are quite
enjoyable: Ron Ford’s lovely Sequentia or Visman’s Song.
mentioned earlier in this review, some of these pieces were
composed as 20th anniversary tributes: Roderik
de Man’s Gotta minute?, Janssen’s Rahoe! (the
title simply means ‘Hoera’, Hurrah in Dutch), Mensingh’s Happy’Birds’-
day and Wander van Nieuwkerk’s Catch (anAngel).
couple of works were also composed for the 2000 Notes project
to mark the new millennium. As may be guessed, there were
to be two thousand notes in each piece. One such work is
Abazis’s Johnny Buy (on a text by Alexis Stamatis)
spoken by the players. The other one is Tsoupaki’s 2000&1 which
is pleasant enough but lacks variety and thus slightly outstays
its welcome. This is not the case for Tsoupaki’s lovely Estampida,
a lively, unpretentious dance of great charm.
last word, too, about the most unusual work here: de Graaf’s The
Brisk Frog project with tape. Specially-adapted soprano
recorders are used: a tiny loudspeaker is attached to the
end of each recorder, out of which the pre-recorded sounds
are heard; I found this piece of information in the insert
notes. I will not tell you the names of all the frogs heard
on the tape! Moreover it seems that the players are also
requested to imitate frog croaking. The whole is great fun
but a bit too long for its own good.
hope that I have been able to give some idea of the huge
variety of music to be heard in this release. The playing
is immaculate and stunning throughout. Well worth exploring
for there is much to enjoy here.
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