This disc presents a highly varied programme centred on the combination of solo tuba and wind band. It covers a wide spectrum of styles, from the Concerto by Boris Diev (b. 1924) – a leading figure within the great Russian wind orchestra tradition – to Swedish composer Fredrik Högberg’s (b.1971) wisecracking and effect-laden Trolltuba, a re-telling of the folk tale Three Billy Goats Gruff. A highlight on the disc is tubaist/composer Baadsvik’s own piece, the unique Fnugg Blue, a highly enjoyable showcase for various pioneering tuba techniques – including percussive effects and multiphonics. As anyone will know who has heard his previous recordings on BIS, Øystein Baadsvik is the right person to present such a programme. On his first disc he combined Vivaldi with Grieg and Monti’s Csárdás, to the delight of the critics, as testifed by the following quotes: ‘an extremely well planned, perfectly executed recital in which humour, charm, and virtuosity combine to make the best possible case for the tuba as star of the show’ (Classics Today.com) and ‘a recording that emancipates the tuba from its Cinderella role with ear-catching panache’ (The Daily Telegraph, UK). His second disc featured works by Hindemith, Gordon Jacob and Astor Piazzolla, and was described in the International Record Guide as ‘an outstanding recital ... Baadsvik's playing combines sweetness with strength, intensity with perception.’ On the present disc this consummate performer is backed up by the eminent Swedish Wind Ensemble under its principal conductor Christian Lindberg, with a rhythmic drive and energy which also comes to the fore in the two pieces not featuring solo tuba: Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, composed in 1949 for Woody Herman, and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s A Quick Blast.
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