Notes and Editorial Reviews
Michael Collins OBE embraces the double role of conductor and soloist in this thrilling revelation of clarinet treasures by the Finnish composer Bernhard Henrik Crusell, masterly supported by the fresh and spontaneous Swedish Chamber Orchestra. A clarinettist and composer, Crusell wrote works that were altogether more ambitious than any by his contemporaries. He achieved fame for his melodic inflection, his highly nuanced technique, and his beautiful sound, for which the three concertos, featured here, interpreted by one of today’s most internationally respected clarinettists, are an ideal vehicle. The level of virtuosity indeed makes severe technical demands on the
soloist, as in the Introduction et air suédois, featured in the revised version published in 1829. But in the roundness of tone and evenness in quality throughout the range of the instrument produced by Collins lies the lasting attraction of a compelling musical discourse that has ensured Crusell’s recent widespread revival way beyond the world of the clarinet and its devotees.
It takes an extraordinary degree of skill (and breath control!) to play such technically demanding solo parts while simultaneously leading the players. As to his role as soloist, I can only say that Collins’s first entry made me smile – and kept it there for the entire length of the disc...His faultless clarity and articulation, especially at some of the speeds he adopts, are things to marvel at.
– Gramophone Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Clarinet no 2 in F minor, Op. 5 by Bernhard Henrik Crusell
Michael Collins (Clarinet)
Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Written: 1808; Sweden
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