Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Brahms, Carl Maria von Weber, Tokyo String Quartet|
Brahms, Weber : Clarinet Quintets
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Energetic, as always-- but typically Stoltzman.
octavianus | 03/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a clarinetist myself, it's difficult to become adjusted to the performance style of Richard Stoltzman. He's different, to say the least, from anything that the classical recording world has ever seen, which makes him a hit among many circles. Indeed his performances are always full of passion and fun, but sometimes he just steps a little too far over the line. Personally, I find his Mozart recordings fantastic, but when he begins to step over his bounds of controls, things go awry.I was originally going to rate with three stars, but I cannot in good conscience give it less than four. Stoltzman is a simply amazing performer, with fantastic technical skill and a bright new approach to clarinet playing. However, his interpretations of the Brahms, which would typically call for more reserved playing, is as 'out there' as much of his other repertoire. He generally fails to use Brahms' masterful writing to blend into the overall sound rather than become a soloist - something, by the way, that Charlie Neidich and the Juilliard pull off superbly well with this piece. It almost seems laced with arrogance, as it may very well be, with Stoltzman trying a bit too hard to be dominant over his fellows of the Tokyo Quartet. With Brahms' works a much greater subtlety is required than what Stoltzman offers it.However, his Weber interpretation nearly makes up for it. Personally, again as a clarinetist, I've never cared for Weber - I was trained much more in the romantic school, my old teacher being 'descended' down the line from Daniel Bonade. But Stoltzman, as he always does, brings a fantastic vitality to this quintet, though again he gets carried away at times - at the cost of technical prowess, unfortunately, which I know he does have. However he makes the piece, which is already by nature much lighter than the Brahms, an entertaining performance. Whatever anyone may say about him, no one can take away the fact that he has an immense amount of fun in his performing, which comes across in any of his recordings. And that's always a plus."
Donald G. Hite III | Houston, Tx USA | 07/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think that Stoltzman really delivers on this CD. The Brahms Quintet is a beautiful composition, and I think Stoltzman plays it perfectly. The performance is uniquely Stoltzman, but he holds back slightly from his usual flamboyance (he saves it for the Weber).
Speaking of which, I think his Weber is wonderful. Stoltzman's flashy style is perfect for Weber's music, and the Quintet is no exception. He adds a few embellishments in the First movement, but I think they are entirely appropriate.
Stoltzman is traditionally hated among clarinet purists (who tend to favor subdued, reserved playing over his more flamboyant style). I doubt those people will ever be pleased with his music. However, if there is a CD of his they would accept, this may be it. Highly recommended."