'...Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic weight and pace these often featherlight textures to perfection, particularly in the several delightful song-based movements with plucked or strummed accompaniments. But where this disc scores over most comparable compilations is in... a substantial 20-minute bonus in the form of the 1933 Suite-Concertino for bassoon and strings (plus two horns). This is something different, at least in the opening Notturno, where Karen Geoghegan exudes a tender melancholy as the so often clownish bassoon puts on its sad face and wails its lonely lament through the night, even if it awakes more predictably to a bubbliness for the remaining three movements.' BBC Music Magazine
'A warm welcome to a superb collection of Wolf-Ferrari's sparkling orchestral music... The Chandos recording is first class, with the deep, resonant bass-drum in L'amore medico marvellously captured.' The Penguin Guide
'The Suite Concertino, beautifully played by Karen Geoghegan, is ravishing and original, and the extracts from Il Campiello and L'Amore Medico have a seductive charm. Noseda conducts it all with quiet passion, and the BBC Philharmonic's playing is finely judged in its combination of virtuosity and restraint. A treat.' The Guardian
A composer of mixed German and Italian descent, Wolf-Ferrari's heritage is reflected in the unique complexity of his music: his composition shows influence from Wagner to Mozart. This influence is often cited as the reason for his attachment the neo-classical style. Interestingly, Wolf-Ferrari is an example of a rare phenomenon of an Italian composer - like Busoni - who was better known in Germany.
This album opens with a suite from 'I Gioielli della Madonna' (The Jewels of Madonna), one of Wolf-Ferrari's most successful works, the beautiful melodies in which conjure images of the setting of Naples. This is followed by an excerpt from the comic opera 'I Quattro Rusteghi' (The Four Curmudgeons) in which light, cheerful and humorous melodies lift the mood further.
Kate Geoghegan's proficiency with the bassoon is exceptional, whether flirting lightly over deeper orchestral tones, blending seamlessly with the melodies of the orchestra or melding with the lower, tones of the deeper strings to give a dark, rich texture. She recently debuted on the Chandos label following her appeareance on the television programme 'Classical Star'.
BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda, Kate Geoghegan
Recorded in: Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester on the 5th and 6th of August 2008
Producer/s: Brian Pidgeon, Mike George
Sound Engineer/s: Stephen Rinker, Owain Williams (assistant)