W0010. THE LONDON WIND SOLOISTS - Jack Brymer, Ronald Moore, Alan Civil, Ian Harper, Roger Birnstingl & Ronald Waller: Six Sinfonias for 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns & 2 Bassoons (J. C. Bach). (Austria) Testament Stereo SBT 1345, recorded 1967. An exquisite jewel of a joyous recording! Final copy! - 749677134525
“In releasing J.C. Bach: ‘Six Symphonies for Wind’, U.K.-based reissue label Testament has made an unusual choice, even for its usual decisions. This originates not with the EMI vaults, Testament's usual stomping ground, but with U.K. Decca. In keeping with Testament's standard mode of operation, this is a selection that Decca would be unlikely to re-release on its own, and a real gem to boot: the London Wind Soloists, i.e. players from the wind section of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of legendary clarinetist Jack Brymer in the six wind symphonies of Johann Christian Bach. These little ‘symphonies’, first published in 1782, are considered milestones of early wind literature, and this was their first recording, a relevant by-product of a complete recorded series of the wind music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. While the appearance of such rarefied wind literature is a reasonably common event on CD in the twenty first century, it was practically unheard of in the LP era of the 1960's. On Testament's part, this is an intelligently chosen reissue, for as J.C. Bach: ‘Six Symphonies for Wind’ re-enters the market it is still quite competitive. While in the meantime a few other recordings have been made of this music, they do not quite stack up to these great first recordings by the London Wind Soloists. The horns played by Alan Civil and Ian Harper are particularly strong; clear, crisp, and nicely in tune. The recording, made at West Hempstead Studios in 1967, is very good, though it is a bit distant and bright in keeping with the way Decca recorded things back then. Annotator Graham Silcock does not seem to care much for J.C. Bach's music, decrying that it is ‘rarely free of a whiff of the military’. Pity for him, as part of the appeal of the terrific performance here of Bach's Sinfonia #4 in B flat is the martial quality of this symphony and its lilting Cotillion, evoking charming images of a regimental ball given in pre-Revolutionary Europe, a place of periwigs, three-cornered hats, and bayonets. Just skip the notes and enjoy the music.“
- Uncle Dave Lewis, All Music Guide
"The London Wind Soloists were fantastic musicians, and this recording is indeed a testament to that. The six symphonies for wind instruments are very classical in character. They are elegant and stately. J.C. Bach used the typical four-movement form and a consistent Allegro for the first movement. The other three movements vary quite a bit and prevent these symphonies from becoming monotonous... This [recording] is of great quality."
- Schwartz, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"…beautifully recorded under the aegis of the late Erik Smith…now immaculately transferred by Testament. About the elegant and spirited playing there can be no doubt. The individual artists are of the highest calibre, they blend their timbres admirably and their phrasing is nuanced, yet never self-conscious."
- Ivan March, GRAMOPHONE, Jan., 2005