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British Clarinet Concertos (Sutherland)

Price: £19.99
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£19.99 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by chris26821.

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Allegro Appassionato
  2. Adagio
  3. Allegro Giocoso
  4. Andante Sostenuto
  5. Allegro Moderato
  6. Variazione Al Rondo
  7. Poco Lento, Calmo
  8. Andante/Medium Beguine
  9. Andante Con Moto
  10. Andante Sostenuto
  11. Moderato
  12. First Movement
  13. Second Movement
  14. Third Movement

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall good CD with a few great moments 16 May 2011
By Donald G. Hite III - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Overall all this is a good CD. The clarinet playing is excellent throughout. In particular, Mr Scott's upper register (sound/articulation/etc) is beautiful, and it's used quite extensively in many of these pieces. Generally, the tone of the pieces is on the lighter, more playful side.

The Paul Concerto is one of the better pieces on the disc, and feels the most substantial. The melodies are memorable, the structure is sound, and the scoring is interesting. Paul makes great use of the flute and oboe, with great interplay between them and the soloist. Also, the brass (French horn in particular) is prominent throughout. Initially I thought this might be too much, but after listening several times it grew on me. Some notable areas include the 2nd movement's lovely recurring duet between the clarinet and a solo violinist. Also, the middle section of the 3rd movement breaks into a quirky "waltz/carnival/carousel" (think last movement of Resphigi's Roman Festival). This 6/8 section provides further opportunities for the winds (soloist, flute, and oboe) to go wild and creates a nice contrast with the surrounding 4/4 sections.

The Horovitz Concertante is a fun and unique piece based on Weber's (hereafter referred to as W) Concertino. The piece is structurally similar to W's and while the melodies are unique enough to stand on their own, they are clearly reminiscent of the original. The piece opens with a slow introduction (in major rather than W's minor). The theme and 1st variaton's melody and accompaniment are very similar to W's, though harmonically/melodically more modern. The piece unfolds with a set of variations which reference the original quite heavily. The piece is very interesting as a comparison with the original, but as a stand alone piece, it falls somewhat short of W's. While Concertino is not one of my favorite of W's clarinet works, it is well written and very effective. Each variation is recognizably based on the theme yet has a unique character. In Horowitz's, some variations lack a strong individual voice. For example the 2nd variation (the triplet one from W) sounds more like a recap of the theme, and what occurs in place of the slowest variation sounds more like a transition than a stand alone variation. The faster variations are generally stronger and the last one (6/8) is particularly good. The lyrical middle section of finale variation seems to lose steam a bit (where as W's drives right into the final arpeggios). One place where Horovitz effectively expands upon the original is in the orchestral tutti between variations 2 and 3. Where W only gives a taste of counterpoint in his short transition, Horovitz extends this transitional passage into a short fugue.

The Woolfenden has some of the most interesting ideas in the set, but the structure of the first movement feels a little unfocused toward the end. The 2nd movement is better, with excellent soloistic writing for the woodwinds and good use of the brass. I actually really like Woolfenden's sense of harmony and his quirky melodies, but the piece as a whole could be more cohesive.

Bush's Rhapsody is probably the best work on the disc. It's very "British" sounding and has an charming, pastoral quality to it. It's organized into three sections. The first is a Finzi-esque, lilting melody in 6/8, following by a quicker, rustic dance. The final section's lush, beautiful string writing gives way to a nice solo clarinet section which closes the piece.

The Cuban Rondo is cute, but not really my cup of tea (at least not when I'm buying a classical CD). The piece has a catchy melody in its outer sections and a somewhat lackluster center melody. The piece is heavy in percussion. It's in an ABA form, which is technically a rondo, though it doesn't really feel like a rondo in form or style. This would be a great piece to sit back and enjoy a daiquiri with, but it feels very out of place on this disc. The CD as a whole is light classical, so it isn't really necessary in term of lightening up the program.

I have a little difficulty with the Cruft. It's a pleasant piece, but the clarinet part often isn't prominent enough to feel like a solo for clarinet. The string writing is nice, but overall I find the piece somewhat unmemorable. The 3rd movement is the best of the three.

The Ridout Concertino is stylistically one of my favorites, although it's entirely too short. The first and last movements both have terribly underdeveloped center sections (nothing is worse than for a composer to hint at something exciting then do nothing with it). The second movement sounds more complete, and has a slightly baroque feel to it. I like this piece, but I wish the composer had more thoroughly developed his ideas in the outer movements.

This CD has great clarinet playing, and enough interesting music to make it worthwhile.
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