NORDIC AT­MOS­PHERES

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - MICHAEL DER­VAN

Egils Se­fers (clar­inet), Sin­foni­etta Riga/Claus Efland

Chal­lenge Clas­sics CC 72630

Sin­foni­etta Riga give nicely un­der­stated per­for­mances of the three best-known pieces in this new collection, all by com­posers who had an espe­cial mas­tery of minia­tures with a light touch. The tex­tures of Si­belius’s Ro­mance for string orches­tra, Grieg’s Ele­giac Melodies and Nielsen’s Suite, Op 1, all glow with soft-napped gen­tle warmth. The rather less well-known Ro­mance, from Lars-Erik Lars­son’s Pas­toral Suite, fits in neatly. Two Lat­vian works from the early 1980s make for an un­usual mu­si­cal layer-cake. These are Pe­teris Vasks’s de­cid­edly down­beat Mu­si­cal Dolorosa and Ro­mualds Kal­sons’s wry, cheeky, some­times highly en­er­gised Clar­inet Con­certo, where the string orches­tra is in­trigu­ingly en­riched with the sound of a harp­si­chord. chal­lenge.nl

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