Richard Blackford



75th Birthday Tribute

New Releases




Piano Trios
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

 


Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Dvorak Opera Premiere
BEST SELLER


The Best


Vanhal


Francis Pott

 


Mahler 9 Elder


New Lyrita Release


British Violin and Cello Concertos


Lyrita New Recording


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Ritchie Symphony 4

Mozart concertos

 

 

Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb
Classical Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Altus
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Clarinet concerto, KV 622[27:44]
Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990)
Clarinet concerto [16:22]
Elena KATS-CHERNIN (b.1957)
Ornamental Air (2007)[22:06]
Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Michael Collins (basset clarinet (Mozart, Kats-Chernin), clarinet (Copland))
rec. 11-16 June 2012, Örebro Concert Hall, Sweden
CHANDOS CHAN 10756 [66:12]

Michael Collins plays Mozart’s 1791 clarinet concerto on the instrument for which it was intended, the basset clarinet. He plays Uzbek-Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin’s 2007 work Ornamental Air on the instrument for which it was intended: also the basset clarinet! If you count Kats-Chernin’s birth and home countries separately, this CD thus spans four centuries and four continents.
 
The Kats-Chernin might be the highlight of the CD. It is a truly delightful concerto, with a fluid, melodic basset clarinet line that seems to hop across the globe with ease. There are very strong hints of the composer’s central Asian background and other folk traditions, and although the chugging bass accompaniment in the first movement sometimes sounds a bit film-soundtrack-ish, this is not to the piece’s detriment. It has the same lightness, charm and love of melody that informs the Mozart and Copland, even if its style is very different. There are eventually some hints of jazz too. I’m happy to report that repeated listens show there’s more here than novelty value.
 
The Mozart feels less necessary. Collins plays it on basset clarinet, with his usual fluid grace and finesse, and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra provides elegant accompaniment of the old-fashioned sort. There are already at least two great recordings with great soloists playing basset clarinet, Sabine Meyer’s on EMI and Martin Fröst’s on BIS, and there’s no especial reason to choose Collins over either. Collins does add a bit of ornamentation in the second half of the slow movement, which is either interesting or sacrilege, depending on your view - I choose interesting.
 
The Copland is much the same way: very well-played, and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra offers sharp, clear playing which is a pleasure of its own, but this enters a glut of great recordings. So you’re probably buying this for the Kats-Chernin. If so, good choice: it’s well worth your time. If you can’t commit to the cost of a full disc for one piece, The Classical Shop lets you download lossless files of the Kats-Chernin alone for just over a fiver.
 
Brian Reinhart 


Experience Classicsonline