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CD review: Open Mind

Anthony Galinier
WOS Recordings: WOS 143

Open Mind
stars
Anthony Galinier continues to explore elegant new musical vistas for the tenor horn. 

However, the Frenchman's latest CD is a marked detour from the impressive path laid by his first two releases – ones that established his reputation as a soloist of cultured stylistic appreciation.

‘Open Mind’ is in essence a 55-minute recital. It is however a particularly adroit spotlight; the soloist deftly creating performances of finesse drawn on a canvas provided by a palette of foundation textures and pigments formed by piano, accordion, strings, woodwind, brass and voice.

Enhanced with a wonderfully intimate acoustic by producer Adam Goldsmith, it encompasses works by Ewazen, Brandt, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Ichard, Ciesla, Caens, Kamin and Sparke – each played with an intuitive understanding to bring boldness, panache, wit and pathos to the fore.

Accomplices

Galinier’s generosity of spirit is echoed by fellow performers who are the classiest of accomplices in the music making - from the octet of clarinettists on Ciesla’s evocative ‘Rhapsody’ to the percussive fun-packed jazz-infused complexities of ‘Danses Exotiques’.    

The suave cool of ‘Selaouit’ - led by Youn Kamm’s evocative vocals is a delight, as is the little gem of drawing-room wit in Dvorak’s famous ‘Humoreske’.

The cleverly realised duet re-created for the horn and violin on Tchaikovsky’s ‘Melodia’ from his ‘Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher’ sits neatly alongside Ichard’s ‘Romantic Night’ which evokes a sense of tender affection - like two aged Parisians walking home hand in hand on a star-lit night through the city.

The cleverly realised duet re-created for the horn and violin on Tchaikovsky’s ‘Melodia’ from his ‘Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher’ sits neatly alongside Ichard’s ‘Romantic Night’ which evokes a sense of tender affection - like two aged Parisians walking home hand in hand on a star-lit night through the city.

Musicality

The measured balance of the opening ‘Concert Fanfare’ horn sextet is rich in tonality, as is ‘Ländliche Bilder’ by Wilhelm Brandt - originally written for four trumpets over 100 years ago, but here expertly transcribed for a modern day brass band quartet of tenor horns who play off each other with nonchalant musicality.

The only disappointment is the soft-vaseline focus makeover of Philip Sparke’s ‘Flowerdale’, which sounds like it’s been hoiked from one of those execrable 1980s Richard Clayderman albums, whilst the lack of a sleeve note insert is a real pity on a release of musical interest and excellence.

Iwan Fox


To purchase: https://www.worldofbrass.com/100522.html

Play list:

1. Concert Fanfare (Eric Ewazen)
Featuring: Bernard Galinier, Jean Daufresne, Hilde Øian, Helen Varley, Siobhan Bates
2. Ländliche Bilder Suite (Wilhelm Brandt)
Featuring: Hilde Øian, Helen Varley, Siobhan Bates
i. In der Kirche
ii. Unter der Linde
iii. Beim Schmaus
5. Humoreske - opus 101 (Antonín Dvorák arr. David Riniker)
Featuring: Anne Chouvel (violin), Lucie Chouvel (piano)
6. Melodia - opus 42: Souvenir d'un lieu cher (Tchaikovsky arr. David Riniker)
Featuring: Anne Chouvel (violin), Lucie Chouvel (piano)
7. Romantic Night (Jean-Philippe Ichard)
Featuring: Anne Chouvel (violin), Lucie Chouvel (piano)
8. Rhapsodie (Alexis Ciesla)
Featuring: Thierry Mussotte, Nans Moreau, Benjamin Christ, Laurence Bourreau, Anais Audigier, Lilian Harismendy, Christine Cochenet, Didier Reymond (clarinets)
9. Danses Exotiques (Thierry Caens)
Featuring: Philippe Bourlois, Christophe Alcocer, Lucie Chouvel, Anne Chouvel, Raphaëlle Rubio, Marie Lèbre, Quentin Rebuffet, Guillemette Tual, Guillaume Itier
10. Selaouit (Youn Kamm)
Featuring: Yann Le Gall, Etienne Callac, Olivier Guénégo, Yvon Molard, Youn Kamm and Bagad du Bont du Monde
11. Flowerdale (Philip Sparke arr. Nicholas Chatenet)

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