Barber, Respighi, Britten, Bartok : I Musici

Barber, Respighi, Britten, Bartok : I Musici

20.00

I Musici (1961)

Philips 835096

Speakers Corner Records : LP 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

Discontinued : last copy available!...

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Samuel Barber (1910-1981) : Adagio for strings, Op. 11  -  Bela Bartok (1881-1945) : Roumanian folk dances  -  Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) : Simple Symphony, Op. 4 Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) : Antiche danze ed arie per liuto.

To compile a music sampler might seem simple, but the conceivers of this LP set themselves several hurdles to spice up their task. Among the infinite possibilities of an overall binding element, they chose to put together works by modern composers who reached back to past traditions. Because most pieces are arrangements for I Musici – a chamber ensemble that tends to favour baroque conventions – one might imagine that all works sound somewhat similar.

But less can also mean more, for Respighi’s heavyweight sound in his arrangements of ancient dances is hardly missed thanks to the ensemble lending the work a light and airy warmth.

Barber’s Opus 11, originally conceived as a quartet, has gained in sound colouring and once again proves itself as a true essential among all Adagios. Bartók’s artistically convoluted Folk Dances prove themselves to be real little gems in Arthur Willner’s transcription. The orchestra quite obviously delights in conjuring up the delicate melodies and tingling pizzicato, while the stamping peasant rhythms are played with gusto.

Closest here to the original sound is Britten’s Simple Symphony, composed for a school orchestra, in which Britten makes use of favourite tunes from his youth. The reason that this composition – shot through with pizzicato from beginning to end – has been arranged for an orchestra of plucked instruments cannot and will not remain a secret for anyone listening to this perfect interpretation.

Recording: June and July 1961 at Bachzaal, Amsterdam, by Henk Jansen - Production: Volker Strauss

This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head. More information under http://www.pure-analogue.com. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.

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