A Beautiful Collaboration
Robert C. Nimmich | Charleston, SC USA | 10/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to start with a disclaimer: I am a Violist, I've played since 1969 with a break. I currently perform in one professional orchestra, two community orchestras, and various chamber ensembles. I came upon this disk expecting something just "good and decent," and of course I wanted to hear a rarely performed work including the Viola. I wasn't prepared for the astounding quality of every aspect of this recording and its performances.
The Orchestra and soloists present a definitive presentation of their works. Beginning with Buhl, it is easy to see this orchestra loves him. Their zeal in attacks and expression with unity speak of a highly motivated and happy group working very well together. It is delight to behold. It is "All in the Family:" Gregor's wife and clarinetist Sharon pairs with her brother and violist Ori Kam in the Bruch concerto. All three aspects , Clarinet, Viola, and Orchestra really shine in virtuosity and sensitive collaboration. You would think in such an arrangement you have to make some concessions somewhere, but every element is far and above any average.
Violists of Kam's magnitude are rare in the brief history of this instrument as a stage presence. The very "Father of Viola Solo" Lionel Tertis only passed away since I've been playing. Kam's command of the instrument and musical expression would better be categorized among the larger pool of the greatest Cellists in history. There are only a few contenders among modern Violists with Kam's sonority. Ori's interpretation clearly delineates the position of lyrical soloist, not just another member of the band that has a technically correct counter melody. He executes his portion with sensitivity and deftness and it is just simply a joy to listen to. I was really astounded. I like his "into the string" playing, perfect vibrato, use of portamento, sensitive dynamics, and phrasing.
Sharon's legendary clarity and sensitivity is well documented in the world, this performance is a wonderful example. What comes across to me is her incredible command of the Clarinet at both ends of its range to sing what she has in mind for it and not vice versa. She seems to accomplish this with apparent ease. She is a delight to hear, even for this avid string player.
The CD comes in a standard size for a Jewel Case, but it is actually a substantial booklet written in both German and English. The booklet is well put-together with photos and contains information about the artists, conductor, and orchestra. I highly recommend this CD. I belive it could be classified a collector's item. -Robert"