Now, and Then

BBC Music Magazine - - Orchestral Reviews -

Chemins V;

tran­scrip­tions of Frescobaldi, Le­grenzi, G Gabrieli, Vi­adana and Wasse­naer

Pablo Márquez (gui­tar);

Orches­tra della Svizzera Ital­iana/ Den­nis Rus­sell Davies

ECM 481 5034 59:06 mins

At first glance the think­ing be­hind this disc seems pretty ob­vi­ous. Be­rio is framed by tran­scrip­tions of ear­lier (mostly) Ital­ian mas­ters made by his great friend and fel­low com­poser Bruno Maderna – the ‘an­cient’ sup­ply­ing thought­ful con­text for the mod­ern. On closer in­spec­tion, though, things are not all they seem. Chemins V turns out to be it­self an ar­range­ment, an am­pli­fi­ca­tion Be­rio made in 1992, adding a cham­ber orches­tra to the Se­quenza XI for solo gui­tar he had com­posed a few years ear­lier. Thus the CD is more pro­foundly a conversation about the aes­thet­ics, me­chan­ics and ethos of the ar­ranger’s art.

We­bern, Stravin­sky and El­gar’s or­ches­tra­tions of JS Bach have dif­fer­ing goals and out­comes; Maderna’s mo­ti­va­tion was, ac­cord­ing to liner notes writer Paul Grif­fiths, love, and Frescobaldi to Wasse­naer, Gabrieli to Vi­adana, he was gen­er­ous in his tran­scrib­ing af­fec­tions. Fas­tid­i­ously made, they’re af­fec­tion­ately re­alised by Den­nis Rus­sell Davies and the Lugano-based orches­tra, though there’s no dis­guis­ing that the ‘main event’ is the pre­miere record­ing of the Be­rio re­spray which jolts the senses after some perky Le­grenzi. Pablo Márquez is the soloist, care­fully ne­go­ti­at­ing a way through the fla­menco-meetsclas­si­cal in­ter­sec­tions of what now, in­stru­men­tally swad­dled, sug­gests a noc­turne, by turns en­chanted and as­sailed. Paul Ri­ley

PER­FOR­MANCE ★★★★ RECORD­ING ★★★★

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