American Recorder

English recorderist John Turner continues to impress with his interpretations of music by living composers and his ability to present the recorder in its rightful place as a modern instrument. These two releases from UK Label Metier [referring also to MSV28519] present Turner’s work with three composers of tuneful, mainstream chamber music.

The work of English composer John Veale and of Scottish composer Robert Crawford stand richly in the tradition of Ralph Vaughan Williams. On this disc of chamber works, Turner plays Crawford’s Elegiac Quintet for Recorder and String Quartet , and Veale’s Triptych for Recorder and String Quartet and Impromptu for Solo Recorder with grace and expressive, yet restrained, taste that fits the music well.

Of special interest is Crawford’s Three Two-part Inventions for Recorder and Clarinet . Clearly alluding by title and concept to J.S.Bach’s Inventions for keyboard, these pieces are playful, tuneful, enjoyable for the listeners and somewhat demanding for the performers. The music welcomes the audience into the textures and interplay. The instrumental timbres work very well together and hint at a combination deserving more exploration by composers and performers.

—Tom Bickley