Review by: David Hurwitz
Artistic Quality: 9
Sound Quality: 10
Milhaud’s La création du Monde used to be quite popular, at least on disc, but it seems to have vanished from the discography recently, at least until now. Christian Lindberg has assembled a varied and interesting program built around Milhaud’s jazz ballet masterpiece, and featuring solo saxophonist Claude Delangle. He’s featured in a splendid performance of Paul Creston’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Band (another unfairly neglected work), Roger Boutry’s really charming Divertimento for Alto Saxophone and Winds, John Williams’ rather commercial Catch Me If You Can, and the obligatory Piazzolla arrangement (Escualo).
The Swedish Wind Ensemble by itself stars in Anders Emilsson’s witty and harmonically entertaining Salute the Band, and in the Milhaud, which receives a performance of exceptional virtuosity, but also extreme mellowness. At the opening the sound is simply gorgeous, but as the work proceeds it would have been nice to hear a more “dirty” sound from the ensemble. Today’s players are so technically adept that they can do anything smoothly, but there are times when the music demands a certain edge that’s not generously evident here.
It’s not a huge problem, to be honest, especially when the program is so much fun, and BIS’s engineering is absolutely demonstration quality. In context, the playing is all of a piece, and it’s pretty excellent.
Buy Now from Arkiv Music
Recording Details:Reference Recording: None for this coupling
John Williams: Catch Me If You Can; Darius Milhaud: La création du monde; Roger Boutry: Divertimento; Paul Creston: Saxophone Concerto; Anders Emilsson: Salute the Band; Ástor Piazzolla: Escualo