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A comfortable stroll

BASIL RAMSEY meets with
clarinet, basset horn and piano

Crystal    CD738

Vintage Woodwinds - Saeculum Aureum Players (p) 2000 Crystal Records Inc


A programme of staid yet endearing 19th century pieces, including Mendelssohn's two Konzerstücke for clarinet, basset horn and piano, is here recorded by an ensemble well versed in the practicalities and spirit of group playing. The formalities of 19th century chamber music are therefore present.

The two Mendelssohn three-movement works never stray far from secure ground, keeping development to familiar styles of elaboration, all accomplished with polish to a gleaming finish [listen -- track 6, 0:00-1:09]. If readers may assume that I write this whilst stifling yawns, it is untrue, but there's danger when music trots a familiar course and meets nothing unexpected on the way. I know from experience that this is a formula necessary to those who expect their music listening to be comfortable and secure. Giovanni Simone Mayr's eighteen Bagatelles reinforce that notion without a doubt.

It comes down to personal choice of music, and also, in this case, the agility of experienced players.


Copyright © 29 August 2001 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK






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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series of shorter CD reviews