BEETHOVEN: Missa Solemnis. Op. 123
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73. SEGERSTAM: Symphony No.
a Cat Visited.
Brasilian Landscapes - music of Paulo Porto
Alegre, Paulo Bellinati, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Daniel Murrat, Ernesto
Nazareth, Egberto Gismonti,
Herineto Pascoal, Antonio Ribeiro, and Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Some months ago this site reviewed an ALBA SACD of Symphony No. 1 of Brahms, and conductor Leif Segerstam's own Symphony No. 288, which is subtitled "Letting the FLOW go on." Please check that for comments about this remarkable conductor and his approach to music (REVIEW). Now we have another issue in what apparently will be a series, and again it is puzzling why Segerstam would pair his own symphony, supposedly about a cat, with the famous Brahms symphony, with which it has no connection whatever. Segerstam wrote the program notes and tries to explain some correlation, but it makes no sense to me. The music itself is a 19-minute excursion into dissonance. Scoring includes a brief part for the piano, played by the composer. Surely one would not acquire this disk for the Brahms symphony; there are countless others that are superior; likewise I cannot imagine anyone wanting to hear Segerstam's rather boring symphony. Excellent audio. An odd release.
Michaela Petri, master of the recorder, over the years has made countless recordings of varied repertory including some works composed for her available on a superb SACD (REVIEW). On her latest release she turns to lighter fare, a collection of Brazilian-coriented tunes, many written for her. She is joined by percussionist Marilyn Mazur and guitarist Daniel Murray who also made many of the arrangements. Most of the music is quietly atmospheric with the solo recorder soaring in the upper register creating a jungle-like exotic bird effect. Percussion is always gentle. All of these sounds have been captured with natural presence and beauty. This is a fascinating glimpse of the lighter side of the amazing Michaela Petri.
R.E.B. (July 2017).