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An American ensemble, Pastiche, has assembled a programme to fit their resources of clarinet, trumpet, piano and percussion. Pastiche it is, but always pleasant and expertly scored. The traditional problem of the trumpet overshadowing the rest is absent.

Pastiche. Copyright (c) 1999 INNOVAAmongst the list of American composers we find Englishman Gordon Jacobs - who accepted that his gift was for impeccably polished pastiche - with the Concerto for Clarinet and Trumpet. The remaining pieces are resourceful, often with a quirky humour which almost goes with the line-up. I particularly go for Nico Schuyt's Quatuor de Ballet (a Dutch composer who died in 1992). For all its bittersweet flavours, there underlies an imaginative grasp and moulding of material.

As an out-of-the-way presentation of unknown music in performances of skill, with the extra ingredient of humour along the way, this CD is worth noticing.

Copyright © Basil Ramsey, September 22nd 1999 

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Record Box is published every Wednesday.