< Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 / Ibert Orchestral works / Erik Reike / bassoon concertos

PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 5 in B flat, Op. 100
Royal Concertgebouw Orch/Mariss Jansons, cond.
RCOA LIVE SACD 16002 TT: 43:06

GRAUN: Concerto for Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo. REICHENAUER: Concerto in F forBassoon, Strings and Basso. Concerto in C for Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo. TELEMANN: Concerto for Two Horns, Strings and Basso Continuo. HORNECK: Concerto forBassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo.
Erik Reike, bassoon. Harald Heim and Klaus Gayer, horns. Dresdener Kappelsolisten/Helmut Branny, cond.
ARS SACD 38198 TT: 59:58

IBERT: Escales. Sarabande pour Dulcinée for the film Don Quichotte. Festival Overture. Divertissement. Hommage à Mozart. Symphonic Suite Paris. Bacchanale.
Suisse Romanade Orch/Neemi Järvi, cond.

This is an outstanding performance of Prokofiev's mighty Symphony No. 5, the second available conducted by Mariss Jansons who had recorded it some years ago with the Leningrad Philharmonic. This Jansons performance was recorded during three concerts in the Concertgebouw in September 2014. It's rather odd this is issued as a single disk, at premium price as it already is available in the 13-disk set Mariss Jansons Live - The Radio Recordings 1990 - 2014 (REVIEW). Playing time for this disk is only 43:06 and it is premium priced. One wonders why producers didn't include more music from the Jansons/Concertgebouw files—it surely would have made this release more attractive.

The ARS label offers this fine disk of concertos for bassoon and two horns. There are bassoon concertos by Graun, Reichenauer and Horneck, along with a concerto for two horns by Telemann. All are performed on modern instruments "in period style" with historical performance practice. The music is played to perfection by the outstanding soloists. Erik Reika has a distinguished solo career, and has been principal bassoon with several orchestras including the Leipzig Gewandhaus. His home orchestra is the Dresden Kapellsolisten, heard on this recording under leadership of Helmut Branny, who founded this orchestra in 1994. He specializes in this repertory. The two horn soloists in the Telemann, Harald Heim and Klaus Gayer, are equally accomplished. Audio is first-rate and satisfying. he only debit is the limited playing time. Easily they could have included at least one more concerto.

Chandos has another winner in their series of SACDS with Neemi JJärvi and the Suisse Romande Orchestra, which he has led since 2010. Already issued are SACDS devoted to Saint-Saëns (REVIEW), Chabrier (REVIEW) and Offenbach (REVIEW). Now we have this delightful SACD devoted to Jacques Ibert (1890 - 1962). Ibert was a prolific composer.He wrote seven operas, two ballets, 4 concertos for various instruments, chamber music, and numerous works for solo piano. Unfortunately most of this has been forgotten today. His most famous work, Ports of Call starts the disk followed by the charmingDivertissement and a number of other lesser-known pieces. In particular we have the Sarabande pour Dulcinée from the score he wrote for the 1933 Georg Wilhelm Pabst film Don Quichotte. There is a lot of charming music here, with a number of comic elements. Performances are sprightly, and the audio is typical of Chandos. This is a terrific SACD.

R.E.B. (June 2016)