A number of recordings of Weber's virtuoso clarinet music have come on the market since these 1980s Chandos recordings were released, but they have held their own well enough to merit reissue on the label's two-for-one budget line. They are, perhaps, quintessentially English despite the Finnish origin of the conductor in the orchestral works: straightforward, technically assured, warm in the orchestral sound (recorded mostly at Birmingham's Town Hall), and never drawing attention to itself or letting anyone see or hear anyone sweat.
Sabine Meyer is one of the world's most renowned instrumental soloists. Her career has taken her from the orchestra pit as a member of both the Bavarian Radio Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic to the height of solo stardom. It is partly due to her that the clarinet as a solo instrument recaptured the attention of the concert platform.
The ever-expanding catalogue of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach on Brilliant Classics (most of it contained in a 30-CD box, 94640), now reaches his music for clarinet, which has received much less attention on record than his orchestral or keyboard works but is no less melodically fertile and formally inventive than his better?known music.
Mozart?s concerto actually began life as a concerto for basset horn (not basset clarinet) and was written in the key of G. The manuscript ended abruptly after the 191st measure of the first movement. Mozart rethought his plan, decided to recast the concerto in A, and overhauled the solo part for basset clarinet, an instrument developed by his friend Anton Stadler The version that entered the repertoire after Mozart?s death was an adaptation of the original.
On this album by clarinetist Julian Bliss, the titular work refers to gumboot dancing, South African miners' dances that during the apartheid era conveyed coded meanings as well as joy in the face of enormous hardship. A look at YouTube will reveal plenty of examples of a form that has been little known outside South Africa. Composer David Bruce's clarinet quintet falls into two parts, an untitled slow "Part One" (track 1) that presumably sets the dark scene of the mine, followed by a second part consisting of five dances.
One of the characteristics of Morton Feldman's music is the way silences are thrown into stark relief. Each silence - freighted with memory, charged with expectation - becomes a unique presence in the music more than merely an absence of it. Though his silences are measured in units of time, they also contain an intimation of infinity. The music of the "classical" tradition slows down, speeds up, layers and otherwise manipulates time. Of the other arts, only cinema plays with our temporal perception to a greater degree.