The Loeki Files – Amsterdam Loeki Stardust (Recorder) Quartet and friends, 1978-2008 – Channel Classics CD + DVD

by | Jan 13, 2009 | CD+DVD | 0 comments

The Loeki Files – Amsterdam Loeki Stardust (Recorder) Quartet and friends, 1978-2008 – Channel Classics CCS SEL 5208 Compilation CD (63:56) + DVD of three concerts, interview & archive materials (4:3, color, PCM Stereo) [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] *****:

The world’s leading (and perhaps only?) celebrity recorder quartet began in 1978 with four students at the Amsterdam Conservatory who got together for a concert and were amazed at the range of colors and sounds the consort could provide.  They decided early on they wouldn’t limit themselves to Renaissance music, and in fact the Loeki in their name came from music for a well-known TV commercial in Holland featuring Loeki the Lion. They had stuck the tune for the jingle onto the end of an Italian canzona. The quartet also performs contemporary music written especially for them, and a variety of arrangements. The 15 tracks of the sampler CD cover all these areas in their recordings for Channel Classics;  prior to that they also recorded for the Decca label.

Each of the group members got to choose some of their favorite selections for the sampler. It includes works by Holborne, Bach, Shostakovich, Purcell, Caldini, Muffat, Dowland, members of the quartet, and anonymous.  The DVD is an illustrated history of the quartet and shows their changing appearances over the thirty-year span.  It also shows the wide variety of different instruments on which the quartet perform – some of the bass recorders being the size of a contrabass bassoon. The concerts appear to have been done for Dutch TV.  One of the standouts is their delightful arrangement of Errol Garner’s “Misty,” in which the group is enlarged with some added recordists – one of whom is conductor Frans Brüggen, father of one of the quartet members. He started his career as one of the world’s leading recorder virtuosi. One wouldn’t think on the face of it that a recorder quartet could be this much fun, but The Loeki Files proves differently. [Put “Loeki” in our site search engine to see our previous reviews of all of their SACDs – they’re even more fun in surround!]

 – John Sunier

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