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Concerto Piccolo - Schulhoff, Etc / Hochschild, Et Al


Release Date: 04/03/2007 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 1789   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Allan StephensonMike MowerGraham WaterhouseAntonio Vivaldi,   ... 
Performer:  Gudrun HinzeBirgit WeiseMiho Tomiyasu-Palma MarquesEva Burmeister,   ... 
Conductor:  Henrik Hochschild
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra members
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CONCERTO PICCOLO Gudrun Hinze (pic, fl); 1–5 Eva Burmeister, (vn); 1,3 Miho Tomiyasu-Palma Marques (vn); 1,3 Birgit Weise (va); 1,3, 5 Stephan Gartmayer (vc); 1,3 Tobias Lampelzammer (cb); 1, 5 Mechtild Winter Read more (hpd); 1 Christiane Frucht (pn); 2 Henrik Hochschild, cond; 1 Leipzig Gewandhaus O members 1,4,5 BERLIN 1789 (74:10)


A. STEPHENSON Concertino. 1 MOWER Piccolo Sonata. 2 WATERHOUSE Quintet. 3 VIVALDI Piccolo Concerto in C, RV 443. 4 SCHULHOFF Concertino 5


If I saw this CD in a store window, I would probably be attracted by its elegant graphic presentation, I would think it exotic—but I would never buy it, in a million years. A whole disc dedicated to the piccolo? It hardly sounds appealing. But you know what? Appearances are deceiving. This is a true find, and will please anyone who likes good, unadulterated, unashamed fun, and not just piccolo-lovers (who, I imagine, are not exactly a large slice of the melomanes). You can trust me on this: I hate the piccolo! Or maybe I should say, “I hated the piccolo.”


This CD has three world premiere recordings: Allan Stephenson’s Concertino for piccolo, strings, and harpsichord, Mike Mower’s Sonata for piccolo and piano, and a Quintet for piccolo and strings by Graham Waterhouse. It also has a recording of the often-played Vivaldi RV 443 Concerto for flautino and strings, and the beautiful and rarely heard Schulhoff Concertino. At first, I was a bit puzzled by the intrusion of a Vivaldi concerto in the midst of all these contemporary names. After listening to the complete CD, however, the combination sounds quite natural. The four modern composers, besides sharing with their Baroque colleague a certain view of what their solo instrument’s character is, are also similar in the final effect their music achieves. This is because they belong to the same school of writing: modern music for people who think they don’t like modern music. Singable, melodious, whimsical, lyrical at times, and— why not?—jazzy. The kind of music that other composers (and music critics!) tend to call anachronistic, but musicians love to play and audiences love to listen to.


In many moments, I closed my eyes and imagined an old cartoon film (say, Tom and Jerry) to go with the music. No, I don’t mean this as a disparaging remark, quite the contrary. There were wonderful composers working for the Hollywood studios, and their worth is now beginning to be duly assessed. This is music that will make you whistle and will make you smile. It helps that the interpretations are absurdly good. Everyone here plays with gusto and with a real commitment to the pieces, and one can tell they are enjoying their work.


The balance in the recording is also consistently fine and interesting, allowing them all to take center stage when it is their turn to speak. Gudrun Hinze, besides having a most impressive, smooth technique, has qualities that are much harder to find: a sense of humor and a lively imagination, which provoke our curiosity and manage to keep our interest engaged at all times. Besides, she produces a miraculously agreeable sound from this challenging instrument, and even makes it sound soulful and lyrical in the more melancholy movements, a notable feat. The bonuses are the tasteful presentation of the CD and the brief but informative liner notes that give us a glimpse into the personality of the soloist (it is refreshing and moving to see a major artist thanking the teacher she feels indebted to). Ah, and I did not even mention the photos that, instead of giving us a sexy, studio version of the musicians, actually portray the reigning mood of the recording sessions. Very nice!


In short, do set your prejudices aside. Even if you think the piccolo is irritating, or if you normally are not a fan of modern composers, this is a great opportunity to change your mind, and listen to a delicious, bouncy collection of gems. The only people who might not like this selection are those who are into contemporary, experimental music, and who will probably find these works too conventional for their taste. Otherwise, go for it.


FANFARE: Laura Rónai
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concertino for Piccolo, Strings and Harpsichord by Allan Stephenson
Performer:  Gudrun Hinze (Piccolo), Birgit Weise (Viola), Miho Tomiyasu-Palma Marques (Violin),
Eva Burmeister (Violin), Mechtild Winter (Harpsichord), Tobias Lampelzammer (Double Bass),
Stefan Gartmeyer (Cello)
Conductor:  Henrik Hochschild
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: South Africa 
Venue:  Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, G 
Length: 20 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (01/03/2005 - 01/05/2005) 
2.
Sonata for Piccolo and Piano by Mike Mower
Performer:  Christiane Frucht (Piano), Gudrun Hinze (Piccolo)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002 
Venue:  Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, G 
Length: 11 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (01/03/2005 - 01/05/2005) 
3.
Quintet for Piccolo, Two Violins, Viola and Cello, Op. 26 by Graham Waterhouse
Performer:  Gudrun Hinze (Piccolo), Birgit Weise (Viola), Miho Tomiyasu-Palma Marques (Violin),
Eva Burmeister (Violin), Stefan Gartmeyer (Cello)
Conductor:  Henrik Hochschild
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; Germany 
Venue:  Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, G 
Length: 15 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (01/03/2005 - 01/05/2005) 
4.
Concerto for Piccolo in C major, RV 443 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Birgit Weise (Viola), Mechtild Winter (Harpsichord), Miho Tomiyasu-Palma Marques (Violin),
Tobias Lampelzammer (Double Bass), Stefan Gartmeyer (Cello), Eva Burmeister (Violin),
Gudrun Hinze (Piccolo)
Conductor:  Henrik Hochschild
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra members
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, G 
Length: 10 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (01/03/2005 - 01/05/2005) 
5.
Concertino for Flute, Viola and Double Bass by Erwin Schulhoff
Performer:  Gudrun Hinze (Flute), Gudrun Hinze (Piccolo), Birgit Weise (Viola),
Tobias Lampelzammer (Double Bass)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; Prague, Czech Republ 
Venue:  Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, G 
Length: 15 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: Mendelssohn Hall, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (01/03/2005 - 01/05/2005) 

Sound Samples

Piccolo Concertino: I. Allegro amabile
Piccolo Concertino: II. Molto lento
Piccolo Concertino: III. Marcia: Allegretto
Concertino for Flute, Viola and Double Bass: I. Andante con moto
Concertino for Flute, Viola and Double Bass: II. Furiant
Concertino for Flute, Viola and Double Bass: III. Andante
Concertino for Flute, Viola and Double Bass: IV. Rondino
Piccolo Sonata: I. Lively
Piccolo Sonata: II. Gently
Piccolo Sonata: III. Fiery
Piccolo Quintet, Op. 26
Concerto in C major, RV 443: I. Allegro
Concerto in C major, RV 443: II. Largo
Concerto in C major, RV 443: III. Allegro molto

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