NICOLAS BACRI (b.1961): Concerto Amoroso "Le Printemps" for Oboe, Violin and String Orchestra (François Leleux [oboe], Lisa Batiashvili [violin]), Flute Concerto (Sharon Bezaly [flute]), Concerto Nostalgico "L'Automne" for Oboe, Cello and String Orchestra, Nocturne for Cello and String Orchestra (Leleux [oboe], Riitta Pesola [cello]), Symphony No. 4 "Symphonie classique 'Sturm und Drang'".
Catalogue Number: 11L093
Description: These splendidly eloquent, attractive, tonal works all date from the last decade. Concerto Amoroso combines suggestions of Sibelian development with Shostakovich-like harmonic progressions (especially evident in the searching slow movement), in a neo-classical structure. There is seriousness and emotional depth at the core of the piece, dismissed by a return to the liveliness of the opening section in a brief coda. The flute concerto recalls Nielsen's, and Busoni's flute Divertimento; in the course of 15 minutes the music traverses many moods, all narrated by the lively, lyrical solo part. Concerto nostalgico opens with a brooding, appropriately autumnal meditation for the cello, and the whole work exudes a chilly, desolate atmosphere; not morose, but uneasy and dark-hued throughout. The brief Nocturne takes this shadowy intensity even further; a somber meditation masking shattering despair, the atmosphere of many a Shostakovich slow movement. The succinct symphony, its four movements hommages to significant 20th-century composers (though without stylistic borrowings for the most part), is a lively neoclassical specimen that inevitably, and appropriately, invites comparison with Prokofiev's similar essay - and in fact, Prokofiev, not one of the named composers, seems the most frequently referenced in the course of the work. Not trying to be taken too seriously, this exquisitely crafted work is an entertaining delight, light but not lightweight. Tapiola Sinfonietta; Jean-Jacques Kantorow.