This disc is a compilation of concertos recorded in the late 1980's following on from Emma Johnson's success in winning the BBC Young Musician of the year award while playing a Crusell concerto. At that time both she and Crusell were essentially unknown but her victory changed the future for both herself and for the Crusell concertos.
Crusell was a successful Finish clarinettist whose skill as a player was soon established within the military. He was transferred to Stockholm where he held the position of clarinettist in the opera orchestra for some 40 years. His three clarinet concertos were composed between 1903 and 1812 and are notable for their lyrical style and effective orchestration. The first concerto has proved to be the most popular overall but all three are very enjoyable and well worth listening to.
Emma Johnson's recordings here are fluent and have a sense of joyful exuberance that is hard to replicate elsewhere. Other recordings, notably those by Kari Krikku, may display an even greater display of sheer technique but none are superior in innate musicianship. The coupling of all three concertos is ideal and as the recording is of good quality this disc has been a very popular one with the purchasing public.
It therefore makes complete sense to suggest that such continued popularity makes this disc one to seriously consider as a purchase. The alternative disc by Krikku is also well worth considering and purchasing the pair may be the best option of all.