Johann Baptist Vanhal's clarinet sonatas are mostly notable for their historical value. Written between 1801 and 1810, they legitimized the clarinet as an equal partner in the sonata form. They did for that instrument what Beethoven did for the cello around the same time. Until the turn of the century, the clarinet had mainly appeared in ensembles with multiple other instruments, like the great quintets of Mozart and Weber.
Two of the greatest and best-loved chamber works for clarinet. Maximiliano Martin, one of the most charismatic players of his generation, is principal clarinet of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The Badke Quartet, formed in 2002, is widely recognised as one of Britain's finest string quartets, receiving widespread acclaim for its energy and vibrancy. 'Martin elegantly conveys the soul and introspection of Brahms…'
Chandos exclusive artist Michael Collins here presents the second volume in his series designed to display the extraordinarily wide range of music written for the clarinet. Volume 1 was BBC Music Magazine Editor’s Choice and received IRR Outstanding from International Record Review, which stated: ‘It is difficult to imagine a finer performance than is given here.’ Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie was written as a test piece for the Paris Conservatoire and contrasts long lyrical lines with capricious acrobatics for the clarinet, being described by the composer as ‘hovering between reverie and scherzo’.