Audiophile Audition: 5 Stars July 2012; Klassik.com: Quadruple 4 Stars August 2012.
The tuba is associated with numerous prejudices branding it as comical, clumsy and incapable of singing. Anyone who has heard Øystein Baadsvik play will know better, however, as witness reviews from his previous recordings: ‘Baadsvik's playing combines sweetness with strength, intensity with perception’ (International Record Review), he ‘conjures a wonderfully mellifluous baritonal tone from his instrument’ (MusicWeb International), and demonstrates ‘a lissome fluency suggesting that anything a violin can do, a tuba can do too’ (Daily Telegraph). In the hands of Baadsvik, the tuba also, according to the German magazine Clarino Print, displays ‘a great wealth of colours’: a chameleon among the instruments, then – as is Øystein Baadsvik, himself. The Norwegian brass virtuoso is equally at home in contemporary concertos with large symphony orchestras, in jazz-inspired combos with strings and piano, or – as here – with a full-blown military band. With the solid backing of the Fanfare Band of the Royal Netherlands Army, Baadsvik starts off with his own Did You Do?, in which he plays a distant and ancient ‘relative’ of the tuba, namely the Australian didgeridoo. Three single-movement concertos for tuba and wind band follow, by Robert Jager, Anna Baadsvik and Rob Goorhuis. The last two of these were made especially for this recording, something which also applies to the atmospheric arrangement of Minuano, a modern jazz standard by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays of the Pat Metheny Group. As may be suspected by its title, Maurice Hamers’ award-winning composition Chameleon takes the tuba through some colourful changes, and the instrument makes a final twirl around the dance-floor in Bass in the Ballroom by Roy Newsome.
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