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’.
Michael Collins plays a crucial role in the establishment of the Irish Free State in the 1920s, but becomes vilified by those hoping to create a completely independent Irish republic.
The Brodsky Quartet present the first of two albums that will feature Brahms’s complete string quartets. This recording includes the String Quartet Op. 51 No. 2 with the Clarinet Quintet in B minor. The second string quartet was written alongside its contrasting companion, the String Quartet Op. 51 No. 1. They were both finally published in 1873 after being held back for years by a typically self-doubting Brahms until he had brought them to his own standards of perfection. Of the two, the second is warmer, more affirmative and relaxed, with few extremes of tempo or mood. It is a work that often looks backward, incorporating hints of baroque devices in his lyrical writing.