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Frost & Friends - Encores / Martin Frost

Release Date: 07/27/2010 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1823  
Composer:  Alexander ScriabinCharles GounodJohann Sebastian BachJohannes Brahms,   ... 
Performer:  Roland PöntinenMartin FröstTorleif ThedéenSvante Henryson,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
SuperAudio CD:  $19.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

A joyful celebration of an instrument and of friendship.

A wonderful sense of sheer delight permeates every minute of this richly enjoyable disc. It comes from the tonal beauty and sheer joyful facility of Martin Fröst’s playing; from the impressive musicality of everything that goes on in the changing groupings of friends involved on the disc; in the fact that they are all friends, a sense of intimate - but far from lazy - familiarity evident in all the musical relationships to be heard here. Of none is that truer than of the partnership of Martin Fröst and Roland Pöntinen. Though
Read more Fröst’s clarinet is, given the nature of the music, necessarily the dominant voice in the music that he and Pöntinen play together, it would be quite wrong to speak of Pöntinen merely as an accompanist. The interplay of the two is so complete, their pleasure in one another’s musical company so obvious that this feels like musical symbiosis, not simply soloist and accompanist. The opening transcription from Scriabin, full of slow melodic playing (from both) of great beauty, was written, Fröst’s entertaining booklet notes tell us, before the two were fully-fledged professional musicians. Like much else on the disc it is, in the highest sense, ‘amateur’ music-making, done, in other words, out of love rather than for mere income.
There isn’t a dull track on the disc, listening to which is, at times, like being present at a particularly happy musical party. So, for example, Let’s Be Happy is thoroughly infectious, especially in its movement from its melancholic opening to its later companionable secular ecstasy of sociability. In The Flight of the Bumble Bee’ the contribution of mezzo Malena Ernman is joyously interwoven with clarinet and piano in quasi-mesmeric fashion, rich in eccentricity, humour and virtuosity. Again, delightful! The Czardas - which in his booklet notes Fröst relates to memories of his parents’ parties - starts calmly enough but grows increasingly exhilarated (and exhilarating) to close with a good - and carefully controlled - impression of musical inebriety. Henryson’s Off Pist is full of skittering motions and motoric patterns, Abrupt changes of direction, jazz inflections, Swedish folk elements - an exciting miniature packed with surprises.
But there is tenderness and lyrical beauty too. The Brahms and Schumann pieces are true ‘songs without words, Dein Angesicht a model of restrained, unpompous dignity; the Chopin Nocturne luxuriates in emotional expressiveness without ever seeming merely self-indulgent.
Some of the unfamiliar or unexpected items also fare very well. Smile is relatively slight, but Chaplin’s music is played with respect and some surprising depths are revealed in this perceptive arrangement. Fröst’s own Improvisation - which will interest admirers of Malcolm Arnold - is full of tenebrous imaginings at its opening, evolving through complex runs and leaps, some of them bluesy in phrasing. The whole is self-evidently the work of a clarinettist who has a full and mature understanding of the technical and aural possibilities of his instrument. This is music played out of a lifetime’s experience.
The same might be said for the disc as a whole - but it is a lifetime in which the performer’s experience, far from wearying him, has sustained - and perhaps even increased - his joy in what he does. It is that joy which characterises all the performances here. Played on my ipod this recital has sustained me through more than one potentially irritating delay on the trains; played at home it has attracted admiring comments from more than just myself.
-- Glyn Pursglove, MusicWeb Interntional 
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Works on This Recording

Preludes (5) for Piano, Op. 16: no 1 in B major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Roland Pöntinen (Piano), Martin Fröst (Clarinet)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894-1895; Russia 
Ave Maria by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Torleif Thedéen (Cello), Martin Fröst (Clarinet)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
Sonata for Violin solo no 1 in G minor, BWV 1001: 4th movement, Presto by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Songs (5), Op. 105: no 1, Wie Melodien zieht es mir by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Austria 
Let's Be Happy by Traditional
Performer:  Svante Henryson (Double Bass), Asa Thedéen (Violin), Martin Fröst (Clarinet),
Christian Svarfvar (Violin), Torleif Thedéen (Cello), Goran Fröst (Viola)
Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite, Op. 57 - Flight of the bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Malena Ernman (Mezzo Soprano), Roland Pöntinen (Piano), Martin Fröst (Clarinet)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Solo de concours by André Messager
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1899; France 
Songs (14), Op. 34: no 14, Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912-1915; Russia 
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 2 in E flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Lieder und Gesänge (5), Op. 127: no 2, Dein Angesicht by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Csárdás by Vittorio Monti
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Pafagelsogonblick by Anders Hillborg
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Improvisation on a theme by Malcolm Arnold by Martin Fröst
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet)
Modern Times: Smile by Charles Chaplin
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; England 
Brudvals for Karin och Martin by Goran Fröst
Performer:  Solve Kingstedt (Clarinet), Hermann Stefansson (Clarinet), Goran Fröst (Viola),
Christian Svarfvar (Violin), Torleif Thedéen (Cello), Svante Henryson (Double Bass),
Asa Thedéen (Violin), Martin Fröst (Clarinet)
Off Pist by Svante Henryson
Performer:  Svante Henryson (Cello), Martin Fröst (Clarinet)
Nature Boy by Eden Ahbez
Performer:  Svante Henryson (Double Bass), Martin Fröst (Clarinet), Torleif Thedéen (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 

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