Wind Concertos (CD review)

Music by Cimarosa, Molique, and Moscheles. Mathieu Dufour, flute; Alex Klein, Oboe; Paul Freeman, Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Cedille Records CDR 90000 080.

Three highlights of this 2004 Cedille release are (1) the enthusiastic playing of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of its Music Director and Chief Conductor at the time, the late American conductor Paul Freeman (1936-2015), and his two soloists, Mathieu Dufour and Alex Klein; (2) the fascinating combination of pieces for wind solos and ensembles that Cedille include; and (3) the excellence of the Cedille recording.

The booklet note says that this is the eighth Cedille recording with Freeman and the Czech orchestra, and one can understand why the conductor appears to like them so much. They play with a genuine flair and affection for the music.

Paul Freeman
Said music would be a late Classical era Concerto for 2 flutes & orchestra  by Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801), here played on flute and oboe; two early Romantic concertos by Wilhelm Bernhard Molique (1802-1869), one for flute solo and one for oboe solo; and an early Romantic period Concerto for Flute and Oboe by Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870). Just listening to the Classical work next to the Romantic works is a lesson in music history in itself, the orchestra opening up, expanding in the latter pieces, becoming not only bigger with added instruments but warmer, the music less formal this way and more smoothly flowing. I'm not suggesting one is better than the other, incidentally, just different.

The accompanying booklet note is more informative than most, and Cedille's choice of a cover painting is quite attractive. Sometimes, it's the little touches that add to one's enjoyment of an album.
Cedille Record's Bill Maylone, one of my favorite audio engineers, recorded the four pieces, and Cedille released the album in 2004. Maylone manages to capture the Classical work with a wonderful clarity, while also capturing all the warmth and charm of the Romantic pieces without losing much of that initial lucidity. The sound is natural, lifelike, vibrant, perhaps a tad bass shy (although the pieces don't require much bass), enveloping, and refreshingly entertaining.

JJP

To listen to a brief excerpt from this album, click here:


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John J. Puccio

John J. Puccio

About the Author

Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.

Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.

Mission Statement

It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.

When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.

So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job.

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to pucciojj@gmail.com.

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa