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  NorthWest Classics
  NWC 109206
  3 Concertos for a New Century - Concertgebouw
  "3 Concertos for a New Century" Geert van Keulen: Horn Concerto (2001), Theo Loevendie: Clarinet Concerto (2002), Willem Jeths: Flugelhorn Concerto (2002)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Track listing:
  Total time: 58:26
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 2

Review by Hugo August 8, 2006 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I would very much like to recommend this SACD to everyone. The SACD contains three contemporary works, commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The works are all recorded live during the world premiere performances. All three composers are Dutch, as well as the soloists (who occupy the first chairs of their instrument in the RCO).

The disc starts with the Horn Concerto by Geert van Keulen. Jacob Slagter does a beautiful job on his horn. The concertos first and third movements are mysterious and vague. The second movement is lively. The whole piece does not seem to lead anywhere, but I like the atmosphere.

The second piece is the Clarinet Concerto by Theo Loevendie. A lively sparkling piece of music, with jazzy influences. Again the playing of the soloist (George Pieterson) is superb.

The third piece, the Flugelhorn Concerto by Willem Jeths, is my favorite (I play trumpet myself and also like the warmer sound of the flugelhorn very much). This concerto has the subtitle 'al fondo per l'oscura'. The orchestra is equiped to play in the lowest registers. For example, the double basses are electronically amplified an octave lower.
The orchestra provides a dark background with melodic lines of the flugelhorn. Sometimes the music comes more alive, but will always go back to slow (in my mind dark brown colours). The piece ends with a very soft 'flatterzunge' of the flugelhorn and then the orchestral chord dies out. The soloist Peter Masseurs is really world class.
The website of NorthWest Classics gives a 'dutch' interview which contains an interesting detail. In the end of the concerto, the organ plays a low f, which appeared to be the resonance frequency of the Concertgebouw (where all pieces are played).

Overall, the music is melodious of character, despite the fact that it is contemporary. The only drawback is that NorthWest Classics provides no extensive booklets with their discs, but directs you to their website. The information (like an interview with Willem Jeths about his flugelhorn concerto) is sometimes in Dutch and therefore not accessible to everyone.

The recording quality is very good, at least in stereo. I cannot listen in MC.

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Review by SnaggS July 3, 2007 (4 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is a nice SACD. Don't get too put off by the title, its not in the beeps and boops camp of 20thC classical. The first concerto is not bad at the start but I preferred the 3rd movement which was very pleasant.

The 2nd Clarinet Concerto was lovely from the get go.. nice full Clarinet sound, tinkles from a triangle and gentle percussion section. Not unlike a piece by Copland if I have to generalise. Some of the string techniques in the 2nd movement are VERY similar.

Sound quality is really good and very natural. Not surprising when you find out its dCS 192/24 and dcs DSD dacs with Pyramix DSD recording. Some real detail here without anything in particular having to jump out, high end detail is lovely with a real depth and warmth on the bottom end.

If your open to new music I'd give this one a go. I took a punt since I like to support small labels, and it exceeded my expectations. I'm still listening to it after half an hour, which is something I can't say for some of my other gambles :)


PS. 3.5 on performance isn't because they're playing bad.. its just because I need some way to differentiate between something like Beethoven's Pastorale and the compositions here. I'm having fun, but its not bringing me to tears.

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Works: 3  

Willem Jeths - Flugelhorn Concerto
Theo Loevendie - Clarinet concerto
Geert Van Keulen - Horn Concerto