Review of Lutoslawski Double Concerto for Oboe & Harp
View original review here: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2011/Oct11/Lutoslawski3_ACD1662.htm
The Double Concerto is to be found on Naxos 8.555763, and with another very good recording and performance with Antoni Wit (see review). Nicholas Daniel is in a league of his own, but oboist Arkadiusz Krupa and harpist Nicolas Talliez give away little to the soloists here. It is the presence and impact of the Wroclaw strings which makes the opening to this piece more impressive than the Naxos recording, and with everything else very much in place the choice is a relatively easy one – unless budget should be your over-riding concern. Daniel’s poetry is not only evident in the slow and lyrical central Dolente, but is also an element in the vocal hysteria of the openingRapsodico, and the variety of his articulation and technical prowess is stunning throughout. Lucy Wakeford’s harp is equally effective in musical terms, though with a realistic concert balance it is less forward in the mix than with the Naxos recording, and therefore blends as much as it blings when the rest of the orchestra is also in full flow. Her sensitivity of touch is given space in the Dolente movement, and cuts through the Marciale e grotes coover the tightly disciplined playing of the orchestra, where the more immediate balance makes all the difference when compared to the more distant details of the Naxos recording. All of those kicking little slides and percussive touches hit home marvellously with the Wroclaw recording, and Daniel’s oboe sounds are a real treat.