Baroque Recorder Concertos - Pamela Thorby - Dr Peter Graeme Wolf

This is sheer joy, Pamela Thorby's relaxed virtuosity disguises the immense difficulty of playing the humble recorder this well - fully comparable with piano and violin pyrotechnics which get so much more coverage. She plays Vivaldi's concertos on alto (treble), soprano (the descant recorder children learn in junior school) and the tiny sopranino. There is another by Sammartini, and the delicious Telemann Suite in A minor which became widely known in the 1960s; before that I used to play it (but not at Pamela Thorby's speed or with her sparkling ornamentation!) and I even conducted a performance on modern flute to finish a concert I organised - wonderful to revisit after several decades a work one knows inside out! Monica Huggett contributes characterful support with string quartet, keyboards and a splendid deep violone - the sopranino recorder sounds particularly piquant many octaves above it. Immaculate playing perfectly balanced and recorded by Linn - a real winner.

Dr Peter Graeme Wolf
01 June 2004