Vanhal: Concertos for clarinet, oboe & bassoons

Luc Loubry & François Baptiste bassoon, Michel Lethiec clarinet, Piet Van Bockstal oboe, The Prussian Chamber Orchestra, Hans Rotman
68:00
Et’cetera KTC 1603

Regular readers will know that I am a fan of Vanhal’s music, and his affinity with woodwind instruments; even modern players seem to share my enthusiasm, and while clarinet and bassoon somehow manage not to offend my HIP-sensitive ears, I’m afraid oboe and unchallenged (?) string players don’t (that is in no way meant as criticism of the oboist, who plays beautifully!); so, while the solo episodes with their lighter accompaniments of violins and violas work, tuttis are uninspired and lacking in air that isn’t produced by some artificial dynamic or other. To be fair to The Prussian Chamber Orchestra, some of the slower movements are rather more successful, but the approach is generally neither inspired or inspiring. So some outstanding solo playing of some honest music, but it could have been so much better.

Brian Clark