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Fine playing by David Pyatt

Record Review: Strauss; Horn Concertos
Strauss: Horn Concertos etc

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.