Richard Strauss: Serenade; Suite; Symphony for wind instruments Wind Soloists of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe / Heinz Holliger (Philips 438 933 2)
Click to follow
Strauss subtitled his Symphony for wind instruments The Happy Workshop. The music was rather better. But was he hinting at something else? The idea of composer and players in a shared experience? A creative co-operative?

This is players' music, for sure, and these young players are about as co-operative as they come: a marvellously wholesome all-for-one-and-one- for-all ensemble, but with that inner vitality that comes of real individuals.

The operatic and the rudely rumbustious (it's Ariadne all over again) are well met here, with ripe horns and reedy reeds not afraid to sing out at the top of their voices, but equally, the mellower hues of Strauss the benevolent, Strauss the romantic. Listen to the clarinettist Richard Hosford emerging from the trio of the Menuet with a sneak preview of the kind of writing soon to grace the Oboe Concerto. A treat. ES