Wind ensembles are hot these days, and the Sinfonietta Ventus, basically an octet composed of wind players from the major orchestras in Mexico City (with extra wind players and percussion as needed), is one of the hottest. Playing arrangements that range from Falla and Revueltas to Shostakovich and Glenn Miller, this is playing at the highest level in recordings of startling purity and clarity. You will need to crank up the volume to get the full effect, but once you do you will hear an amazing palette of instrumental colors, with wide dynamic range and fidelity to beat the band.
The most successful items are Leonard Bernstein’s explosive Overture to Candide, Silvestre Revueltas’s moody three-movement Homage to Garcia Lorca and, in closing, Miller’s In the Mood. Copland’s El Salon México and Falla’s Suite from The Three Cornered Hat lack a bit in rhythmic brio, but make up for it in seductive color. The distinguished conductor Jorge Mester is listed discreetly inside the liner booklet as the Sinfonietta’s conductor and that surely explains in part the joy and commitment with which these highly virtuosic and charismatic musicians play.
– Laurence Vittes