Clarinet legend Richard Stoltzman and virtuoso marimbist Mika Stoltzman present a stunning collection of arrangements evoking the past and new works of the present, including music by J.S. Bach, William Thomas McKinley, Astor Piazzolla, Maurice Ravel and John Zorn. Two-time Grammy Award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman is known as a captivating recitalist, chamber musician, and jazz performer, as well as a prolific recording artist. He gave the first clarinet recitals in the histories of both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. In 1986, Stoltzman became the first wind player to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize. Recently he was awarded the prestigious Sanford Medal by the Yale School of Music. Mika Stoltzman has been described by TheRead more Los Angeles Times as a “high-wire jazz marimbist... an amazing, energetic performer ready for major exposure,” and a “Japanese Marimba Maestro,” by Time Out New York. All About Jazz raves, “Mika Stoltzman is beyond category, to use Duke Ellington's signature compliment.” Mika has toured to 19 countries and 65 cities around the world. She has performed nine times at Carnegie Hall (Zankel and Weill Hall), as well as at PASIC 2005 and 2007, the Blue Note in New York, the Tokyo and Cairo Jazz Festivals, and the Rockport Jazz Festival.
You might not expect much from this release: albums by married partners are surely enjoyable for the players involved, but rarely top-notch. Forget all your reservations: this is terrific. The talents of clarinetist Richard Stoltzman are well known, but even his followers may be unaware of the work of his wife, the marimbist Mika Stoltzman. Her background is in jazz, but here she shows herself an entrancing classical player on an instrument with little tradition. The playing of both principals is beautiful, and has the desired X factor of empathy. However, it is the arrangements that really excel. Altogether, absolutely superb, an unexpected masterpiece.
María de Buenos Aires: Fuga y misterioby Astor Piazzolla Performer:
Hector del Curto (Bandoneon),
Richard Stoltzman (Clarinet),
Mika Stoltzman (Marimba),
Pedro Giraudo (Double Bass)
Period: 20th Century Written: 1968; Argentina
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
Excellent Compositions, Superbly PlayedAugust 16, 2019By J. Pour (Claresholm, AB)See All My Reviews"Terrific recording. Nothing not to like, IF you enjoy clarinet and marimba as I do. Solo and duo performances, and one ensemble piece which adds acoustic bass and bandoneon. Compositions are an eclectic mix of old, new and things in between. Nice program. Highly recommended."Report Abuse
A brilliant musical partnershipJuly 7, 2019By Dean Frey See All My Reviews"Darius Milhaud introduced the marimba into the classical orchestra with his extraordinary 1947 Concerto for Marimba and Vibraphone, and composers from Leo Janá?ek to Steve Reich were quick to introduce the striking colours this marvellous instrument can add to chamber and orchestral works. This new disc from marimbist Mike Stoltzman and her husband, clarinettist Richard Stoltzman, provides a great overview of various styles ("from Bach to Zorn" is a great way to talk about a wide range of music!) Mika Stoltzman's own adaptation of Bach's perfectly adaptable Chaconne, from his D minor Partita for Solo Violin, shows the musical and emotional range of the instrument, as well as her own brilliant playing. Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte is another work that's made its way into many, many arrangements, and Richard Stoltzman's version for marimba & clarinet sounds exotic and familiar at the same time, in other words, just right for this kind of music. For me the highlight of the album was the John Zorn piece which provides the title of the project. Richard Stoltzman describes the work in the liner notes: "Mika begins by playing quite tonal music, and then the clarinet jumps in with something abstract and arrhythmic, with crazy leaping intervals, almost as if Ornette Coleman had stepped into the room, and it keeps in conflict with the steady metre of the old manuscript underneath Mikas part. Its really fun to play, and it has been a surprise hit with audiences." So many of the pieces here (including the Bach arrangements) are jazz- and blues- inflected. The Piazzolla works seem so natural, partly because the great composer from Argentina worked in his own jazz/classical idiom, but also because of the groove that the Stoltzmans and bandoneonist Pedro Giraudo are in throughout."Report Abuse