Chamber music for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano - Hartmann, Rácz, Kirichenko
Ars Produktion ARS 38 302
Classical - Chamber
Works by Françaix, Schnyder, Poulenc, Villa-Lobos
Christoph Hartmann (oboe)
Matthias Rácz (bassoon)
Anna Kirichenko (piano)
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Review by Adrian Quanjer - July 17, 2022
Not many know that Kyiv is older than Moscow and that it is the cradle of the Russian Orthodox Church (Kievan-Rus). I furthermore wonder how many will know that it is also the cradle of many ‘Russian’ artists of fame. For instance, the violinists David Oistrakh and Nathan Milstein, as well as the pianists Vladimir Horowitz and Sviatoslav Richter, to mention but a few. Ukraine is much more than it has gotten credit for. This will hopefully change as interest from the outside world grows.
Anna Kirichenko, playing the piano in this recent ARS Produktion recording, comes from Ukraine as well (Odessa) and is now a teacher at the prestigious Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin. Together with her musical partners, Christoph Hartmann (oboe) and Matthias Rácz (bassoon) we are treated to a varied programme of light-hearted contemporary music of unusual nature.
Jean Francaix is known for his positively tuned humorous music. His trio for Oboe Fagott und Klavier is new to me, but it is in that same uplifting category. Spotless playing from all three. Daniel Schnyder’s Suite Symphonique is just as frivolous, though perhaps more of interest to all those fans of both oboe and bassoon. With Francis Poulenc, we are back in solid musical territory. Surely the best part of this release. A fountain of addictive joy, with a hint of melancholia in the middle movement. Three musicians in top form. I assume it gave them as much pleasure as it did to me. A rewarding antidote for all the bad news the media want us to suffer.
The final item, a duo for oboe and bassoon from the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, is an ingeniously concocted yet attractive exercise that should, like Schnyder’s, appeal to players of the same instruments.
Claus-Dieter Hanauer’s liner notes give answers to most of the questions one may have about the composers & programme.
Fine sound, too.
Blangy-le-Château, Normandy, France.
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