Weber Wind Concertos
This remarkable disc, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's 16th recording with Linn, does two things, each equally important. It brings SCO woodwind principals, whom we know so well in their ensemble contexts, out of their orchestral seats to front of stage, as it were, and turns the spotlight on their extraordinary abilities as virtuoso soloists. Second, it brings some exposure to Carl Maria von Weber, a well-enough known name but a composer who has languished on the sidelines, despite the fact that he is a seminal figure in the vanguard of the transition between the Classical period and full-blown Romanticism. And all of this permeates this wonderful disc, with unceasingly characterful performances by Maximiliano Martin of the First Clarinet Concerto and the little Concertino; by Peter Whelan in his own scintillating and witty reconstruction of the Bassoon Concerto; and by the amazing Alec Frank-Gemmill playing the Horn Concertino, multiphonics and all. SCO playing, with Alexander Janiczek leading, is pristine and stylish.