This is a very fine disc. Carl Nielsen's ferociously difficult Clarinet Concerto presents no serious technical challenges to Sabine Meyer, who plays it with beautiful tone and a remarkable lightness of touch. Indeed, in the work's angrier moments, where a touch of stridency wouldn't be amiss, she sometimes sounds perhaps too light; but just how raucous you want the soloist to sound in this work will be very much a matter of personal taste. I had the same reservations regarding Martin Fröst's undeniably excellent recent BIS recording, and for this reason Olle Schill (also BIS) remains my version of reference. One thing is certain: Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic accompany magnificently, and the equally soloistic snare drum partRead more never has been so subtly or accurately played.
Rattle and Co. are also on their best behavior in the Flute Concerto. Emmanuel Pahud has such a big tone that it really wasn't necessary to balance him more closely than Meyer, but beyond that his playing is outstanding, with the humorous bits of bass trombone mischief nicely caught. It almost goes without saying that the Berlin Philharmonic winds will give a thoroughly musical, at times captivating reading of Nielsen's Wind Quintet. As with Meyer in the concerto, the technical quality of the playing can't be faulted, but at times, particularly in the opening movement, it can sound almost too smooth. Nielsen's music can take a bit of roughness around the edges, if it comes in the form of a higher degree of individual character from the players.
That said, you'd have to be crazy not to acknowledge the high standard of achievement everywhere evident in this very recommendable disc, and it's great to see this music getting the attention it deserves outside of Scandinavia. Recommended.
Emmanuel Pahud (Flute)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1926; Denmark
Flute Concerto: I - Allegro moderato
Flute Concerto: II - Allegretto
Clarinet Concerto: Allegretto un poco
Clarinet Concerto: Poco adagio
Clarinet Concerto: Allegro non troppo
Clarinet Concerto: Allegro vivace
Wind Quintet in A major, Op.43: Allegro ben moderato
Wind Quintet in A major, Op.43: Menuet
Wind Quintet in A major, Op.43: Praeludium: Adagio
Wind Quintet in A major, Op.43: Tema con variazioni: un poco andantino
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Danish MasterpieceDecember 5, 2011By Curtis Hottinger See All My Reviews"My Grandfather was Nelson Nelson [Nielson}. I'm sure he would have loved this piece ! I have a special place in my heart for the flute, this is wonderful!"Report Abuse