On his previous disc for BIS, Tuba Carnival, Øystein Baadsvik showed that ‘anything a violin can do, a tuba can do too’, as the reviewer in British Daily Telegraph put it. That disc included a number of arrangements, such as Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’, which prompted that particular comment. This time Baadsvik has chosen to perform original works – with the exception of the three Piazzolla pieces arranged by the performers – many of which have a common theme, namely dance. As the name suggests, Sivelöv’s Tres Danzas have a Latin cast to them, with a strong rhythmic interest, and a finale which is like a competition in which the tuba and piano try to dance as fast as possible – and both come out as winners! The Tuba Suite by Gordon Jacob is composed after the pattern of a Baroque suite and incorporates a bourrée, a sarabande and a hornpipe. The waltz by Bernstein is a charming miniature in which the tuba player is invited by the composer to play ‘as gracefully as possible under the circumstances’. And while the remaining works, by Anthony Plog and Hindemith, lack overt dance references, they are both examples of music in which rhythm is the driving force. All in all, this is a disc which can be summed up in the same words as its predecessor, namely ‘a perfectly executed recital in which humour, charm and virtuosity combine to make the best possible case for the tuba as star of the show.’
From this Norwegian artist, the tuba gains an enormously melodic flexibility and a vast spectrum of colors.
Øystein Baadsvik is one of the very few globe-trotting tubists that sound every bit as amazing in person as he does on his recordings. This latest serving of tuba and piano music shows another facet of this world-class performer.
A ruthlessly skillful Øystein Baadsvik masters his large instrument down to the smallest atom. An unforgettable CD.
An outstanding recital. Baadsvik’s playing combines sweetness with strength, intensity with perception.