GMCD 7169 – Recorder Concertos by Vivaldy, Sammartini, Telemann

The Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Horacio Frano – Recorder

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Gramphone June 2000

The Art of Horacio Franco

There are other middle-of-the-road recordings of all these winsome works, but in none does the recorder sound more fleet of tongue and fingers; Horacio Franco, an Amsterdam-trained Mexican, sparkles and bubbles in the up-tempo outer movements and in the slow ones he is as expressive as the recorder permits. The Georgian CO is equally spruce and stylish in the well-balanced recording. Warmly recommended.
John Duarte


Dear Neil Evans.

Once in a lifetime (in my case thrice) one meets a young musician who threatens to seriously break musical boundaries! I encountered Horacio Franco as a very young musician at the Mexico City Conservatory where he was introduced to me by Angelica Morales (Mrs. Von Sauer) and Mtro. Montiel the director. They presented him as perhaps amongst one of the brightest of the young Mexican musicians of the future. They were so right!

I since heard him more recently with the Academy of St Martins in the Fields in St. John’s Smith Square with my partner for the evening Joanne Bennett (the distinguished flautist under Fritz Reiner’s baton at the Chicago Symphony) who immediately told me I had to record him! Horacio is now a globe trotting soloist who has transformed the image of the recorder!

Your reviewer Barry Witherden, enjoys his playing but allows for the possibility of “stitching together multiple takes”. This happened with one rather famous flautist on many an occasion, but, it is not the case here! Mr. Witherden is most welcome to hear all the takes…. A very serious body builder, Horacio employs a technique known as “Circular breathing” and can play and does – long 40 second passages without seemingly taking a breath. Anyone that has seen him in concert can attest to this as well the many musicians who have played with him on stage.

In other words……. no stitching here!

Thanks for the very nice reviews

Classic CD – February 2000 – Page 74

The cover bears a dark. Brooding portrait of Franco, very Mephistopholean, and the allegro in the A minor concerto immediately convinces you he must have signed a pact with the Devil; Paganini-like The recorder was never meant to be played that fast or that funky OK, We all know about what can be achieved in the editing suite, but even allowing for the possibility of stitching together multiple takes there is some amazing playing here Oddly, the only time Franco really falters is on some of the slower passages, such as the largo in the Vivaldi D major and the siciliano in Sammartini’s concerto in F, where his intonation is rather wavery

If the imagery of the packaging is stygian, the music is full of colour an light and both soloist and ensemble play with vivacity, incisiveness and precision The sound is bright and full-bodied. Most of these pieces are probably better known in flute versions, but they work as well. if no better, on recorder, not least Il Gardellino, .the Goldfinch”
Barry Witherden

Baroque at its bright, beguiling best