Monday, 27 August 2012

Busy Busoni - A Review

The following is a review I just submitted to Classicsonline of Busoni orchestral works, featuring the Clarinet Concertino, by the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma conducted by Francesco La Vecchia. It's on the NAXOS label and you can find it here.

Before seeing this album I only knew the name Busoni from a transcription of Bach on a James Rhodes album. I was lured in to this one however by the clarinet concertino – I collect clarinet concertos. I’m very glad I got it too, not just the one piece but the whole album.

Most of the pieces, like the Lustspielouverture and the Flute Divertimento, are lively classic fare with an infusion of something more modern than I’d expect. The whole album is very energetic, and captured beautifully in the recording which has clarity with all the instruments. There’s also a richness to the music and a constant sense of movement; it’s never boring.

It’s never more surprising though than the Rondo Arlecchinesco, which lives up to its zany namesake. Even after several listens the sudden entrance of the tenor is surprising.

And of course I have to talk about the Clarinet Concertino. What a delight! It’s not as robust and dramatic as the rest, allowing for a quieter moment which in itself is no bad thing, but the way the clarinet seems to drift over the other instruments as if they were the water and it the boat, is simply magic.

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