Michala Petri

American Recorder Concertos

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This album by the seemingly indestructible recorder player Michala Petri, does not represent a single creative statement, but rather collects recordings made between 2006 and 2018. Nevertheless, Petri's releases on her own OUR Recordings label are of uniformly high quality; there are some wonderful pieces here from top American composers, not all of whom were initially enthusiastic about writing for the recorder. For extended technique, check out the Etudes concerto for recorder and orchestra of the late Steven Stucky, which inventively fuses the etude concept with three-movement concerto form, sample Glides. All four composers deal inventively with the challenge of balancing the recorder with larger forces, but the champ here is Sean Hickey in his A Pacifying Weapon (the title comes from a song by the Indigo Girls), where the recorder is an ancient voice facing the imposing threats of the modern world. In Roberto Sierra's Prelude, Habanera, and Perpetual Motion, the recorder takes on an unfamiliar Latin guise, while its surroundings in Anthony Newman's neo-Baroque Concerto for recorder, harpsichord, and strings (a string quartet) are entirely natural. This is an exceptionally joyous work featuring the septuagenarian Newman on the harpsichord. Throughout, Petri retains the agile, clean sound that first made her famous a half a century ago. Wonderfully enjoyable.

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