Weber: Wind Concertos
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/ Alexander Janiczek Linn Records CKD 409 ****
The stars in this collection of wind concertos by Weber, apart from Weber himself, are bassoonist Peter Whelan and horn-player Alec-Frank Gemmill. Whelan shines in the jaunty Bassoon Concerto, combining lyricism and wit with the athleticism that Weber’s writing demands. Frank- Gemmill takes on the Horn Concertino (a lot more daunting than the diminutive of its title would suggest) in style, braving the rigours of Weber’s early adventure in multiphonics, a technique that’s more associated with the 20th-century avant-garde than the early 19th century. Clarinettist Maximilano Martín’s contributions – he plays the First Clarinet Concerto and the Clarinet Concertino – are more mixed. The concerto finds him indulging in freedoms that introduce an unwelcome air of instability, but the Concertino is altogether finer.