Music Web International: outstanding.
The French composer Nicolas Bacri has said that melody is the essence of all music; it is certainly an essential feature of these works, composed between 1995 and 2004. The programme mirrors Bacri’s involvement with the melodic genre par excellence, the concerto: four of the works included are concertante works with one or two solo instruments in interplay with a small-scale orchestra. Concerto nostalgico ‘L’automne’ and Concerto amoroso ‘Le printemps’ – dedicated to Lisa Batiashvili and François Leleux, the soloists on this recording – form part of a projected ‘Four Seasons’ cycle, whereas the Flute Concerto – here interpreted by Sharon Bezaly – and the brief Nocturne for cello and strings, with soloist Riitta Pesola, stand on their own. But besides his many concertos, Bacri has also composed no less than six symphonies. Of these, Symphony No. 4 was commissioned to form part of a concert-cycle dedicated to ‘Sturm und Drang’ compositions of the late-Classical era. Bacri himself has described the process as ‘putting myself “in the skin” of a composer of the Classical period’. He adds the following qualification: ‘Even though I haven’t been afraid to sketch the outlines of an aesthetic vocabulary of another time, I have also tried to present an emotional content arising from the musical pre-occupations I feel to be my own.’ This highly accessible, colourful and melodic music is here interpreted by the Tapiola Sinfonietta under Jean-Jacques Kantorow, a team whose previous recordings on BIS have been enthusiastically received by the reviewers. A recent disc of works by Saint-Saëns was for instance described as ‘a smorgasbord of distinctive orchestral colours’ in Classic FM Magazine, while the German website klassik.com discovered ‘a truly magnificent orchestral sound – as flexible as it is transparent.’