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Corelli's Concerto Grosso Op 6 No 8 uses the baroque organ of Viggo Mangor as well -- in fact, this is cleverly and discreetly used throughout the disc, for relief from the sax sound and support to it. The first allegro [listen -- track 3, 1:25-2:20] is ear-catching for its sweetness in the upper lines and sensitive support from the bottom. Snekkestand and Petersen often soar together [listen -- track 21, 0:00-1:00] with impeccable matching, the supporting underpinnings of Balland and Andersson never becoming remotely 'honky'. The second allegro [listen -- track 8, 0:45-1:25] is a fine demonstration of the quartet's attention to detail and balance.

Both Pergolesi pieces, the cantata Orfeo and the Salve Regina feature the tenor Mathias Hedegaard, a voice well-suited to this repertoire. In Orfeo, the opening recitative illustrates the organ-like capability of the saxes [listen -- track 10, 0:01-0:31], while in the final presto [listen -- track 13, 1:20-2:36] the lighthandedness of everyone concerned is admirable, the repeated single-note tonguings being tossed off without strain.

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Copyright © 26 February 2008 Paul Sarcich, London UK


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