This Titanic Records disc from 1990 is a true gem to me. It was hard enough to find years ago, but with it's recording of the rare Hovhaness "Sextet for Recorder, String Quartet, and Harpsichord" I would have travelled to the Himalayas to acquire it. And what a magical piece it is. I find it to be one of AH's best chamber pieces, and the unusual scoring makes it that much more intriguing and magical; with each listen I experience it anew, mesmerized, awaiting each and every turn and wrinkle, every plucked string and song, mysterious aleatoric passages and stately harpsichord, recorder songs transporting me back to ancient times only to thrust me back firmly in the present with the utmost excitement. This recording is also significant as it also introduced me to the music of Arnold Cooke, a major discovery for me. His "Concerto for Recorder and String Orchestra" really impressed me and opened up a reservoir of interest in this composer. As in much of Cooke's music,
the studies with Paul Hindemith are clearly evident, although typically subtle. The concerto reminds me, to a degree, of Vagn Holmboe's lovely Recorder Concerto also. It's one the finest examples of recorder music in the 20th century.
The Vivaldi Concerto in C I have always been fond of (I am rather fond of all of the almost countless Vivaldi concerti though) and here receives a strongly committed performance, although sonically it's a tad tinny sounding and lacks robustness due to I assume, spatial relationships & concert hall. (a quick play with a decent EQ will solve this mostly)
The Boismortier Concerto is elegant, although underwhelming imo. Probably why I rarely revisit
any all Boismortier discs that I own. The last piece by Jonathan Lovenstein was written for the great recorder soloist John Tyson. It's a forgettable barely 4 minute piece.
Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto in C Minor
1)Allegro non molto
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier - Concerto in G Major
Arnold Cooke - Concerto for Recorder and String Orchestra (1957)
10)Variations on Prince Rupert's March
Alan Hovhaness - Sextet for Recorder, String Quartet, and Harpsichord (1958)
15)Jonathan Lovenstein - Fantasie (1987)
*The string orchestra is not named or mentioned anywhere in the cd