July 08, 2005

MUSIC: harmonica concertos

Who knew there was such a thing? This CD turns out to be a very entertaining collection, featuring concertos by Malcolm Arnold, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Michael Spivakovsky (of whom I had never heard, but his is my favorite of these pieces). Soloist Tommy Reilly is a virtuoso of the instrument, and once you get past the "that's a harmonica" giggles, there's much pleasure to be had here.

My favorite sentence from the album notes tells us that after its 1959 premiere, the Villa-Lobos concerto "seems to have suffered inexplicable neglect, undoubtedly linked to the dearth of classical harmonica players in the world...". Yeah, that would explain it.

No comments: