Ace clarinettist Sergio Bosi and pianist Riccardo
Bartoli are back again for Naxos with a follow-up to their superb disc
of 'Italian Clarinet Gems', released in 2011 (review
This is essentially more in a similar vein, but this time by a single
In fact, Aurelio Magnani was primarily a teacher of the clarinet. According
to the accompanying notes, his 'Méthode Complète de Clarinette'
is still a standard text in Italian conservatories and elsewhere. He
did however devote a good deal of spare time to composition, writing
two operas and various other instrumental works, including a quantity
of chamber music for clarinet.
Bosi and Bartoli's debut recording for Naxos, published in 2010, was
a slightly more serious affair in a musical sense, featuring clarinet
suites by Busoni and some of his less-known contemporary compatriots.
Nevertheless, Magnani's music is certainly not flippant or bland. In
fact, it is stylishly entertaining, especially for those who adore lyrical
clarinet. All these pieces are lovingly crafted and creatively mellifluous
- three indeed are pastiches.
Despite this listener-friendliness, the recital is, for the most part,
a virtuosic work-out for the clarinettist - as befits the title. Sergio
Bosi signs off his booklet notes with an expression of personal delight
"to have recorded these works by a composer with whom I feel a particular
affinity, partly for reasons of artistic ancestry, and partly on account
of a number of strange coincidences that connect the two of us, including
the fact that we both made our débuts, a century apart, in the
theatre in my home town." This recording can thus be seen as Bosi's
tribute to Magnani, and what a fine one it is. His tone is mellow, his
phrasing refined and thoughtful. With a large discography to his credit,
it is a pity he is not more widely recognised. Riccardo Bartoli teaches
at the same institution in Italy, giving the pair plenty of time to
internalise the scores - as their intuitive interactions in this recording
This programme was recorded at the same venue as 'Italian Clarinet Gems',
and sound quality is just as impressive. The only black mark is the
Collected reviews and contact at artmusicreviews.co.uk