Baroque Recorder Concertos - Pamela Thorby - The Consort

Recorder player Pamela Thorby is perhaps best known for her work with the Palladian Ensemble, with whom she has built an enviable discography and performing profile over the years. In this, her debut as a solo artist in her own right, Pamela is able to follow her instincts as a musician, and create an album of remarkable individuality and character. Bravely she has chosen some of the most widely performed and recorded pieces in the repertoire - Vivaldi's concerti RV441, the infamous C minor, RV443 and RV445; Sammartini's Concerto in F, and Telemann's Suite in A minor - courting direct comparison with many of the world's greatest recorder players. She succeeds with flying colours.

First impressions give an overriding sense of the raw energy that emanates from both Thorby and Sonnerie. Technically, the recorder playing is of the highest quality, but never so perfect as to be dull; instead, the impression is of live, gutsy and genuinely imaginative playing, with some wonderfully liberal shaping and ornamentation. Pamela has worked with non-classical artists: the jazz group Perfect Houseplants and, more famously, on Karl Jenkins Adiemus album. this experience has clearly helped to mould her perfroming style beyond the purely historical. However, it never becomes egotistical or tasteless. Rather, one has a sense of the artist presenting her own personality while retaining a healthy respect for the music.

One interesting twist that is not often heard is the transposition of Vivaldi's C major Concerto RV443 down a fourth into G major, for performance on descant recorder. this is not without historical precedent (refer to David Lasocki's accompanying notes for a full explanation); it definitely allows both recorder and strings a deeper resonance. A very impressive CD.

The Consort
01 May 2004