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Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

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Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

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CD: MDT AmazonUK

Cor! - Alison Teale plays cor anglais
Track-list at end of review
Alison Teale (cor anglais)
Elizabeth Burley (piano)
rec. July 2010, Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth
OBOE CLASSICS CC2023 [76:27]

Experience Classicsonline

Alison Teale is the principal cor anglais player with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and her colleague Elizabeth Burley is an experienced and well-travelled pianist. Together they make a good team in works designed originally, or in transcription, to demonstrate the instrument’s lyricism and agility.
They have had the good idea not to start with Robert Valentine’s Handelian Sonata, which is second in the track listing. I appreciate things can be programmed as one chooses, but the avoidance of the obvious route of ‘Baroque Opener’ is an index of canny judgement, especially given the moody preferred choice of de Falla. The evocative terpsichorean charm of the two movements from El Amor Brujo get things off to a flamenco-drenched, languid and richly hued start. Messiaen’s Vocalise is richly lyrical. And I rather admire Teale’s booklet note comment on Michael Berkeley’s Snake about which she is clearly ambivalent, having a ‘love-hate relationship’ with it. She admires its colours though, and I like its coiling but lulling song, and clever narrative. I know it’s a beautiful piece of music but it is unusual to find the slow movement of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major here, reduced to two instruments.
Piazzolla’s Nightclub 1960 was originally written for flute. It’s typical Piazzolla – fast/slow, sex and nostalgia. Rubbra is made of firmer, finer stuff. I wouldn’t go as far as Teale, who puts him up there with Elgar and VW, but the Duo has the long lines and sense of inevitability of utterance so reflective of his finest music.
Lucchetti’s Rock Song is a breathless whirl that gradually unwinds to calm stasis after its centrifugal burn. Bozza is best known for his virtuosic brass writing, and his Divertissement is a most attractive piece with an especially energetic final section. Another pillar in the programme, offering ballast to what might otherwise appear to be scattershot, is Hindemith’s 1941 Sonata, a perfectly proportioned piece that manages to be both evocative and uneasy; and it’s very well played. Of course, there’s The Swan. Less obviously there is also the fun and virtuosity of Un pensiero del Ballo in Maschera, a Verdi paraphrase by Antonio Pasculli. As a closer there’s David Gordon’s good-time and dramatic Bebop tango. I reviewed this in its original incarnation, but in this version it’s been arranged for Teale’s cor anglais.
This engaging recital has been extremely well recorded. Admirers of the instrument should find much to reward them.
Jonathan Woolf

See also review by Rob Barnett

Track list

Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948)
Snake [4:46]
Eugène BOZZA (1905-1991)
Divertissement Op.39 [6:14]
Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946)
El Amor Brujo; Ritual Fire Dance [3:37] and Pantomine [3:33]
David GORDON (b.1965)
Bebop tango [4:16]
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Sonata for Cor anglais and piano (1941) [11:10]
Alessandro LUCCHETTI (b.1958)
Rock song No. 3 (1986) [5:26]
Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992)
Vocalise etude (1935) [4:47]
Antonio PASCULLI (1842-1921)
Amelia: un pensiero del Ballo in Maschera [6:13]
Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992)
Histoire du Tango: Nightclub 1960 [5:34]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Piano Concerto in G major: Adagio assai [6:25]
Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986)
Duo for Cor Anglais and Piano op.156 [4:32]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne [3:02]
Robert VALENTINE (1680-1735)
Sonata No.10 in C [7:01]












































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