Fine playing by David Pyatt
Record Review: Strauss; Horn Concertos
Writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson is Chief Classical Music and Opera Critic for The Independent. He wrote and presented the long-running BBC Radio 3 series Stage & Screen, in which he interviewed many of the most prominent writers and stars of musical theatre. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and 4. On television, he has commentated a number of times at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He has published books on Mahler and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and has been on Gramophone Magazine's review panel for many years. Edward presented the 2007 series of the Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint. He has interviewed everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Liza Minelli; from Paul McCartney to Pavarotti: from Julie Andrews to Jessye Norman.
Friday 23 June 1995
Remember David Pyatt, BBC Young Musician of the Year 1988? Well, the fledgling has well and truly flown. This is spectacularly fine horn playing. But more than that, it's musically aware, richly imagined. Pyatt has a colour for every inflection: there's his noble legato, rolling out with the smoothness and body of a mature claret; there's that brassy edge which he keeps in reserve for shining heroics, like the motto theme of the First Concerto. Best of all, he loves to play quietly, really quietly. He's a master of those dreamy, far-away departures - real "forest murmurs" stuff. And he can trip nimbly through Strauss's allegros without ever touching the ground. His colleagues of the Britten Sinfonia get to show- off their euphonious wind-band sound in the early Serenade, while the late Duet Concertino bids farewell with a smile, clarinet (Joy Farrall) and bassoon (Julie Andrews - how singularly inappropriate) gently sparring like Octavian and Baron Ochs.
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