Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Brahms, Michal Friedlander|
Brahms: Klarinettentrio Op. 114; Klarinettensonaten Op. 120
jsa | San Diego, CA United States | 06/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After hearing Karl-Heinz Steffens' first-rate traversal of the Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets (Mozart- Brahms: Clarinet Quintets), I ordered this disc, also released by Tudor Recording, a Zurich-based outfit that has issued several discs featuring Steffens. While this all Brahms recital was issued in 2004 and the Mozart-Brahms disc dates from 2007, I'm happy to report that it's every bit as satisfying as the later release.
The Brahms Trio for clarinet, piano and cello op. 114 dates from near the end of the composer's career (1891). In his comprehensive liner notes, Lorenz Luyken observes that the "Trio's themes are rather conspicuously inconspicuous." For this reason Brahms' critics were not enthralled with this work. But, as Luyken astutely points out, "Those listeners who set out on the journey to the inner world of the music will learn to their amazement that discreet thematic relationships link all the movements together and that a whole atmospheric cosmos is explored in numerous metamorphoses."
The popular clarinet sonatas, which round out this disc and need little introduction, are gorgeously played by Steffens and pianist Michal Friedlander. Another fairly recent issue of the same program from Bis, including the trio (Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas & Trio [Hybrid SACD]) received great reviews; however, I think Steffens, Friedlander and cellist Ludwig Quandt are superior, especially in the sonatas. I had difficulty with clarinetist Frost's overly dark approach to the reflective elements in this music. Instead Steffens and Friedlander strike just the right balance between serenity and extroversion.
Wonderful music, perfectly recorded. Very highly recommended!"