Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Finzi: Clarinet Concerto, Bagatelles, Etc / Stoltzman, Et Al


Release Date: 08/06/2007 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 60437   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gerald FinziLawrence AshmoreTraditional
Performer:  Richard Stoltzman
Conductor:  Robert Salter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guildhall String Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  
ArkivCD  $16.99
Low Stock



This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Before the Thea King (Hyperion) and John Denman (Lyrita) recordings of the Finzi clarinet concerto we had to rely on BBC radio broadcasts. Both King and Angela Malsbury were champions of the work in the early 1970s. Michael Collins won Young Musician of the Year in 1979 with the Finzi concerto. The Lyrita (LP) and Hyperion (LP then promptly onto CD) staples followed shortly afterwards. Then came a succession of soloists as the concerto surfed and fed the wave of the worldwide Finzi revival. The concerto is now a Finzi ‘signature’ work encapsulating the essence of this vividly melodic pastoral lyricist. In the last two years here in the North-West of England I have heard three performances of the concerto and I could have heard another four Read more with a fifth in St Helens in April. Finzi is now an easy-winner.

Stoltzman is an American performer and his having taken up the Finzi was an important signal of acceptance across the Atlantic. Many US music-lovers will have come to know the Finzi through this CD now custom-reissued at mid-bargain price by Arkiv.

Stoltzman came to the UK to make these recordings and at the same time also had the distinction of making the premiere recording of an orchestration of another of Finzi's clarinet works, the Five Bagatelles. These little essays do not have the substantive depth of the concerto but they do capture aspects of Finzi's character in an immediately entrancing way. Lawrence Ashmore, who also directs the Guildhall Ensemble provides totally idiomatic and Finzi-faithful orchestrations of the original piano accompaniments. Effectively he gives us a Finzi suite for clarinet and orchestra.

Stoltzman in both the Concerto and the Bagatelles tends to be rather dry-eyed. The dewy pastoralism is left understated when compared with Johnson, Hacker, King, Plane or Marriner; not that any of them gush. It's a matter of finer shades. Two other things distinguish Stoltzman. He has miraculous technique - breath control that seems to defy physical limitation. Also his sound conveys the burred and grained woody tones of the instrument more than any of the competition.

It is the Bagatelles that crystallise comparisons. They're still not at all a common work even in the Finzi boom - and certainly not in orchestrated form. The only other recording of them is from 1997 by Robert Plane on Naxos. Plane yields more to the shepherds' carol aspect and also turns in a fine reading of the Clarinet Concerto. His is a preferred choice if you prefer an all-Finzi recital. Naxos fill out the disc with the composer's shorter orchestral pieces including the ineffably beautiful Introit. Stoltzman on the other hand gives us Lawrence Ashmore in a work called The Four Seasons and in Greensleeves. The former is an artful and imaginatively orchestrated fantasy through which are threaded many traditional English tunes. It's pleasing rather than totally compelling although I did think that the chilly Winter section was extremely well done.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Bagatelles (5) for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 23 by Gerald Finzi
Performer:  Richard Stoltzman (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Robert Salter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guildhall String Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941-1943; England 
Notes: Orchestrated: Lawrence Ashmore 
2.
Concerto for Clarinet in C minor, Op. 31 by Gerald Finzi
Performer:  Richard Stoltzman (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Robert Salter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guildhall String Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948-1949; England 
3.
English Folk Songs "Four Seasons" by Lawrence Ashmore
Performer:  Richard Stoltzman (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Robert Salter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guildhall String Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; England 
4.
Greensleeves by Traditional
Performer:  Richard Stoltzman (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Robert Salter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guildhall String Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Notes: Arranged: Lawrence Ashmore 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Melodic, peaceful music played by a master clarin November 12, 2014 By JOHN A. (CINCINNATI, OH) See All My Reviews "I always enjoy Richard Stoltzman's wonderful, mellow sound, and have several of his recordings. When I heard the Finzi Bagatelles on Public Radio (WGUC-Cincinnati) I HAD to have it for repeat listening. The rest of the CD fit very well with these pieces, and all are fine for peaceful listening. I would call this recording a stress reliever." Report Abuse
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In