LABELS: OUR Recordings
ALBUM TITLE: UK/DK
WORKS: Works by Arnold, Christiansen, Jacob, Holmboe, Kidane, Britten and Borup-Jørgensen
PERFORMER: Michala Petri (recorder), Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)
CATALOGUE NO: 6.220611 (hybrid CD/SACD)
Michala Petri, fondly remembered by many as a child prodigy on the recorder, has formed a duo with the Iranian-born harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani. Their second disc, as its title suggests, consists of music from Esfahani’s adopted country, the UK, and Petri’s native Denmark – nearly all of it written in the later 20th century as part of the recorder revival. The exception is a recent piece by Daniel Kidane, Tourbillon, which is named after a component of a watch and moves with mechanical precision before running down at the end.
Britain is also represented by Malcolm Arnold’s well-crafted Sonatina of 1953, Gordon Jacob’s fluent Sonatina (and an Encore for Michala exploiting her ability to sing one tune while playing another), and an arrangement of Britten’s unassuming Alpine Suite. The Danish works are Henning Christiansen’s fresh and lively It is Spring, with hints of birdsong on sopranino recorder, Vagn Holmboe’s Sonata, idiomatically written for both instruments, and Axel Borup-Jørgensen’s Fantasia, mildly modernist in its textures and gestures.
Throughout the programme, well recorded in a Copenhagen church, Petri plays with immaculate tuning and finger technique, crisp tonguing and well-shaped melodic lines; Esfahani matches her with well-judged colours and phrasing.