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CD Spotlight

THE ESSENTIAL EMMA JOHNSON

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'... beautifully expressed in the highest musical terms ...'

with BILL NEWMAN

 

CD INFORMATION - ASV  CD DCS 238

Coinciding with Emma's new Mozart/Weber disc with her friends (to be featured shortly in Planning Your Collection) comes this lovely cross-section of favourite, best-selling recordings - compiled of course, by the excellent Ray Crick - to whet your appetites. The essential, important items are concertos by Mozart, Weber and Sir Malcolm Arnold [listen - CD1, track 10, 1:28-2.25, 'The Pre-Goodman Rag'], which along with Baermann's serene Wagner's Adagio, feature this highly popular artiste's wonderful controlled fluency, perfectly judged tempi and dynamics and brilliant versatility. You won't be kept long in suspense to realize how the ECO and the three conductors adapt their stylistic approach to every phrase by solo clarinet, and John Boyden - for a change - must have had a producer's control room field day!

The programme for CD2 is the bee's knees - Paul Reade's delectable The Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite, Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumble-Bee [listen - CD2, track 6, 0.57-1.18], Rachmaninov's gorgeous Vocalise, Schumann's 3 Fantasiestücke, that French duo - Debussy's La Fille aux Cheveux de lin and Ravel's Pavane pour une Infante defunte, the zany Scaramouche Suite by Milhaud, and his older colleague Satie's Gymnopédie No 1.

The typical jazzy cum middle-of-the-road renderings that bring in an even wider audience wherever she plays come in the shape of 3 Gershwin Preludes, MacDowell's To a Wild Rose, Howard Blake's major TV success Walking on Air from The Snowman and the perennial Jamaican Rumba by Arthur Benjamin. My personal favourite - because I still remember a more pleasurable world of bygone years - is Gerald Finzi's Five Bagatelles, but sentiments so beautifully expressed in the highest musical terms - composer and performers alike - cannot fail to please.

Copyright © 15 July 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - ASV CD DCS 238

PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON

PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET

VISIT THE EMMA JOHNSON WEBSITE

BILL NEWMAN TALKS TO EMMA JOHNSON

 

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