The Washington Post Review of Tchaikovsky/Plumeri/Moscow Philharmonic by Joseph McLellan
Plumeri, who used to play double bass with the National Symphony Orchestra, has gone on to a career of composing and conducting but retains fond memories of Washington and particularly of his long-standing friendship with the orchestras now retired principal bassoonist, Kenneth Pasmanick. The bassoon concerto composed for Pasmanick, which he plays beautifully on this world premiere recording, reflects that friendship as well as the special knowledge of orchestration gained from experience as an orchestra member. Aided joyously by Pasmanicks interpretation, Plumeri smashes the stereotype of the bassoon as a comic instrument with music that is solemn, lyrical and dramatic. He conducts the Moscow Philharmonic in a performance sensitive to the musics smallest nuances. The same qualities can be heard in the eloquent, expertly controlled performance of the "Pathetique," on which this orchestra has a special claim. It is a good disc mate for the concerto because its solemn tone, notably in the opening, served as an inspiration for Plumeri.