Simion "Syrinx" Stanciu, a true original by any measure, died in 2010 as the unquestioned king of the panpipes. His Romanian birth name was Simon Stanciu; "syrinx" means panpipes. He arranged numerous classical works for that instrument ("he always respected the original keys," the buyer of the CD version of this release learns) and even ventured into jazz. This collection of works, taken from recordings made in 1992 and 1999, includes the work with which Syrinx first made a splash: the "Badinerie" from the Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067. The entire program consists of music for flute and orchestra (or, in the case of the suite, with a prominent flute part), by J.S. Bach and C.P.E. Bach, transcribed for panpipes and orchestra. Unlikely as this sounds, the virtuosity is such that the listener quickly gets over the novelty and begins to listen to Bach's music itself. There are only a few passages (one is the Ouverture of the Suite) where you have to suspend disbelief, and in general the music of J.S. Bach is more suited to this treatment than is the highly melodic Flute Concerto in A major, Wq 168, of C.P.E. But the whole thing is so charming that it seems querulous to complain about any of it. The booklet notes claim sales for Syrinx of a million albums over a 30-year period, and as odd as it sounds, you can believe it.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Concerto, BWV 1056|
|Concerto, BWV 1060|
|Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067|
|Concerto for flute in A major, WQ 168/H 438|