Baroque Recorder Concertos - Pamela Thorby - Gramophone

Pamela Thorby's work with the Palladian Ensemble has alone been sufficient to establish her as a world class performer and the reputation of Sonnerie has long been sky-high. Their coming together offers a delightful prospect and though, as any sports-person knows, teams assembled from star players do not always work happily, this one lives up to its promise. Their material has a familiar look but their delivery of it is of rare quality and fully justifies this journey along oft-trod paths.

The music trips off Thorby's tongue with the utmost fluency, cleanly articulated, and without any trace of the distressing sagging or wavering of pitch on long notes that haunts too many otherwise laudable performances by some others. No less notable is her enhancing embellishment, particularly though not exclusively in the slow movements. Sonnerie provide the perfect substrate for Thorby's excursions: stylish, precise and ideally balanced in the Linn recording.

Throughout, one has the impression of a single mind in control of two 'hands', soloist and ripieno. It is some time since a recording of baroque ensemble music has given me so much pleasure and I strongly recommend you to share it - and with me to recall the line: "rarely, rarely comest thou, spirit of delight", for that is what this disc conveys.

01 June 2004