Baroque Orchestral Works
It would seem that there is either an insatiable appetite amongst the public for a potpourri of this variety or a belief held by record companies that a house catalogue is somehow not complete or respectable without one. Well, anyway, here is yet another which, of course, includes the glutinous Albinoni Adagio, for which that composer should not in any way be held to blame, and the Pachelbel Canon which has a more respectable pedigree. The most objectionable concoction undoubtedly is the Adagio, which receives a vastly inflated performance—syrupy in texture and cavernous in sound. But is the fate of Handel any happier? for this keyboard sarabande arranged for cohorts of strings must henceforth be recognized by purchasers of the record simply as ''Theme du Film de Barry Lyndon''. And then there's Vivaldi who is represented by an Andante from what the publishers of the record call Concerto in C major for mandolin. But perhaps we should not be surprised to find that it comes from nothing of the kind but from a concerto in the same key for a great many different instruments of which the mandolin is just one.
Of the two instrumental arrangements of movements from Bach cantatas the less said the better; in each instance the vocal part is usurped by an emotionally highly-charged trumpet, whilst in the case of No. 147 the felony is compounded by the heavy footfall of the bass line which provides an absurdly inept contrast with the melody. Excerpts from Bach's Suite in B minor for flute and strings fare better inasmuch as they are at least played by the instruments for which he wrote it. Mozart and Boccherini (his contribution is what we might justifiably call in this context 'Theme du Film de Ladykillers') are let off comparatively lightly but the ''beauty of the noble serenade'', from the Quartet in F, Op. 3 No. 5, is laid unequivocally on Haydn's doorstep without the slightest hint that Hofstetter or anyone else for that matter, might have had something to do with it. A tearjerking acoustic and a tasteful sleeve-design incorporating a recorder, a spinet, a lute, a globe, an ancient tome and a gourd of some description, put the finishing touches to this bewilderingly nonsensical issue. There's little to choose between the LP and CD except, of course, where price is concerned.'