This is not a new recording and all the repertoire here has been recorded many times, so what is so special about this disc?
Well, for a start, Janet Hilton has a richness of tone that is rarely matched by anyone. This serves to provide a warm and highly engaging reading of each of the pieces featured here, that is not always evident on others. Secondly, there is no sense whatsoever of 'rattling the music off' in order to get to the pub before closing time. Each piece is clearly thought out, but not merely THOUGHT OUT, but intimately FELT too. What we have here is neither 'head over heart' playing, nor 'heart over head'. Each approach has equal influence.
Match this with the usual Chandos warm and immediate recording qulaities and you have the perfect rendition.
I have at least three recordings of each of the pieces on this CD, mostly by musicians even more prominent than Janet Hilton, but this is the one that I would grab first if the house caught fire!
This is the finest collection of French Clarinet music, most of which is staple of the Clarinet repertoire (students and professionals alike). What makes this CD even better is the excellent interpretation and recording quality. The only thing which stopped me giving 5 stars, is that I found the playing of the Saint-Saens' sonata too laid back in large sections at the start and at the end.