One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Founding Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

/


Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano)


Scherber Symphony 2
SPECIAL OFFER £10


Respighi Piano Music
SPECIAL OFFER £10


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sheva Contemporary
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing
this disc through MusicWeb
for £13.50 postage paid world-wide.

English Fantasy
William ALWYN (1905-1982)
Clarinet Sonata (1962) [12:26]
John CARMICHAEL (b.1930)
FÍtes ChampÍtres [13:38]
Aria and Finale [15:42]
Clive JENKINS (b.1938)
Five Pieces for clarinet and piano (2003) [12:42]
Cecil Armstrong GIBBS (1889-1960)
Three Pieces for clarinet and piano (1950s) [9:01]
John IRELAND (1879-1962)
Fantasy-Sonata (1943) [14:12]
Peter Cigleris (clarinet)
Antony Gray (piano)
rec. August 2010, Royal College of Music Studios
CALA CACD77015 [76:41]

The excellent clarinettist Peter Cigleris, together with fine pianist Antony Gray, has constructed a good-looking recital that balances works from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s with more contemporary fare.
 
The focus is on British music, though John Carmichael is Australian. Alwynís Clarinet Sonata of 1962 receives a richly committed performance, fluid with regard to rubato, sensitively coloured, and showing due regard for the pacing of the many incidents in this twelve-minute work. Its refined lyricism jostles with a very assertive sense of self, almost as if chamber intimacies were vacuum-packed with film music outtakes; the final section features a spectacular dismount, and the performers are fully up to its rigorous and exciting demands. Carmichaelís FÍtes ChampÍtres has traces of Poulenc and is freshly lyrical. Cast in Baroque sounding movements ó Pastorale, Passepied, Berceuse and Rigaudon ó Carmichael ensures sufficient contrast always to interest the ear. The wistful B section in the Rigaudon is especially distinguished. His Aria and Finale is the longest work here, at nearly 16 minutes in this performance. Originally written for soprano saxophone it translates well to the clarinet. The long lyrical lines, a touch impressionist, are certainly well suited for the instrument. The light-hearted dialogues in the Finale are both fulsome and loquacious; thereís a good cadenza and much graceful writing offering excellent opportunities for variety of tone colour, rubato and elasticity of phrasing. Perhaps itís a touch too long; my only complaint.
 
Clive Jenkinsí Five Pieces was written in 2003 and premiered by the composer and Cigleris. These artful little pieces are a constant delight. The central one has a light dusting of Faurť at the outset, and has taken on a life of its own. Originally written as an orchestral entríacte it was for years the signature tune for a BBC Radio Devon programme. Rightly so: itís a memorable theme. To add to the pleasure thereís a witty fugue and a whirling waltz to conclude. Armstrong Gibbsí Three Pieces embrace a March theme, not unlike unwritten film music, and a delightful song-without-words in the shape of a second movement Air.
 
The disc itself finishes with a performance of John Irelandís sonata, performances of which are coming much more often these days. Cigleris has listened to Irelandís own performance, he notes; this is the off-air broadcast with Frederick Thurston that featured on a couple of BBC3 Radio broadcasts and then was made commercially available. Despite Irelandís strictures on piano chordal weight and steady tempi, Iíve noted before that he frequently clips his recommended timings in his own works. Itís the same in this Sonata where he and Thurston take around 13 and a half minutes, a similar timing adopted by Michael Collins in his most recent Collins disc. Cigleris and Gray take 14:12, similar to Gervase de Peyer and Eric Parkin on Lyrita. In the end itís a relatively small difference, though itís not without consequences, and what matters most is how one binds its three moods, the rhapsodic quality of which needs to be subject to some control. Fortunately this pairing is not lacking, and they bring nuance and insight to bear, as well as fine tone and ensemble, as indeed they do the whole well recorded recital.
 
Jonathan Woolf

See a[so review by Rob Barnett