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The American Clarinet [CD]

Various Artist Audio CD

Price: £3.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Clarinet Concerto (1996)Alain Damiens/Ensemble InterContemporain/David Robertson19:52Album Only
Listen  2. New York Counterpoint (1985)Alain Damiens11:17Album Only
Listen  3. Gra - For Solo Clarinet (1993)Alain Damiens 3:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Tephillah, For Clarinet And Electronics (1997)Alain Damiens/Franck Rossi16:24Album Only
Listen  5. Gnarly Buttons, For Clarinet And Small Orchestra (1996): I. The Perilous ShoreAndré Trouttet/Ensemble InterContemporain/David Robertson 9:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Gnarly Buttons, For Clarinet And Small Orchestra (1996): II. Hoedown (Mad Cow)André Trouttet/Ensemble InterContemporain/David Robertson 6:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Gnarly Buttons, For Clarinet And Small Orchestra (1996): III. Put Your Loving Arms Around MeAndré Trouttet/Ensemble InterContemporain/David Robertson 8:54£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless performances by some unlikely heroes of minimalist music 5 Aug 2011
By dysfunctional-harmony - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I had come into this disc with no particular affinity for the music of Elliott Carter, only having liked his 8 Etudes and Fantasy and the Cello and Piano Sonatas. But as I listened to this disc, the seductive interactions between clarinet, played expressively by the magnificent Alain Damiens, and sections of the orchestra forced me to rescind my opinion of just how wide his emotional range is.

This is the very first piece I've ever heard of Howard Sandroff's, and I have to admit, so far I'm impressed. The piece in many ways reminded me of Cronenberg's Videodrome, at times I didn't know where the clarinet stopped and the electronics began. Sometimes it sounds like the electronics are moaning (again, Videodrome!), at others they sound like they are parroting the clarinet. But it all carries with it an otherworldly beauty the likes of which I haven't heard in a long time.

Given who it was founded by (Pierre Boulez), you'd never guess just how brilliant this ensemble is at playing Adams' Gnarly Buttons or New York Counterpoint. Pierre Boulez has explicitly stated at times how little his fondness is for these two composers, calling The Death of Klinghoffer "bad film music." But it looks like that feeling hasn't rubbed off on either Alain, Andre Trouttet, or the rest of the ensemble, as their performance perfectly captures the sentiment of the music, especially the Alzheimer's-inspired disintegration of the third movement.

Overall, this cd is so accomplished that there is not a single bad thing I could say about it. The idea for the disc stretches one's aesthetic, challenging all those super-modernists to actually listen for a change and the minimalists out there to learn a thing or two about expression, whether it's in the Adams, the Carter, or the Sandroff. Even from a clarinet player's point of view (I play the clarinet) the performances are the model for expressiveness, tone, and energy as much as any performance I've heard, and certainly more than, say, Stolzman, or, for that matter, this cd:
Copland: El Salon Mexico / Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra / Music for the Theatre / Connotations for Orchestra ~ Bernstein
I can't recommend this album highly enough.
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