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Five American Clarinet Quintets / David Shifrin


Release Date: 12/08/1998 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 3183   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  John CoriglianoEllen Taaffe ZwilichJoan TowerBright Sheng,   ... 
Performer:  Ida KavafianCarmit ZoriPaul NeubauerFred Sherry,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 23 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Zwilich's Quintet is another memorable achievement from this award-winning composer, and Adolphe's At the still point is a richly communicative creation. All are exemplary performances and recordings.

A typically enterprising Delos 'twofer' this, bringing together five recent compositions of impressive substance and strong identity. Joan Tower's eventful Turning Points (1990) boasts a single-movement structure of especial elegance, while the 1990 Quintet by Pulitzer Prize-winning Ellen Taaffe Zwilich is another memorable achievement. Shanghai-born Bright Sheng's likeable 1994 Concertino imaginatively incorporates Chinese folk elements, and John Corigliano's deeply-felt Soliloquy is, in fact, a 1995 adaptation of the
Read more slow movement from his fine 1977 Clarinet Concerto. Last, but not least, there's Bruce Adolphe's At the still point, there the dance is (1989): a richly communicative creation. Altogether exemplary performances and recordings. An enthusiastic recommendation.

-- Gramophone [10/1999]

This two-CD set offers a survey of music written or adapted over the last ten years for one particular medium by five composers of the same nationality and reveals an interesting diversity of stylistic approach. The playing, both individually and in ensemble terms, is impressive with effortless virtuosity and extreme contrasts of dynamics resulting in very commanding performances. Each of the five composers represented has a distinctive voice and, as would perhaps be expected of the late 20th-century music, draws on influences from a vast range of sources.

Two of the most immediately accessible pieces here provide a case in point: Bright Sheng has overtly based his Concertino for clarinet and string quartet on folk music from the northwest of China and uses the piece as a specific experiment in fusing Asian and Western styles, while Bruce Adolphe’s attrative At the still point, there the dance is is to some extent, reminiscent of John Adams in its harmonies and allusion to minimalism. The only work included here not actually composed during the last decade is John Corigliano’s Soliloquy which is an adaptation of the slow movement of his 1977 Clarinet Concerto and, as a moving tribute to his late father, features a beautiful dialogue between clarinet and violin.
Performance: 5 (out of 5); Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- Tim Payne, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Soliloquy for Clarinet and String Quartet by John Corigliano
Performer:  Ida Kavafian (Violin), Carmit Zori (Violin), Paul Neubauer (Viola),
Fred Sherry (Cello), David Shifrin (Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977/1995; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/23/1996 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, Purchase College 
2.
Quintet for Clarinet and Strings by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
Performer:  Ida Kavafian (Violin), Ani Kavafian (Violin), Paul Neubauer (Viola),
David Shifrin (Clarinet), Fred Sherry (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/22/1995 
Venue:  St Peter's Episcopal Church, NYC 
3.
Quintet for Clarinet and Strings "Turning Points" by Joan Tower
Performer:  Paul Neubauer (Viola), Fred Sherry (Cello), Ani Kavafian (Violin),
Theodore Arm (Violin), David Shifrin (Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995 
Date of Recording: 05/17/1996 
Venue:  St Peter's Episcopal Church, NYC 
4.
Concertino for Clarinet and String Quartet by Bright Sheng
Performer:  Fred Sherry (Cello), David Shifrin (Clarinet), Ani Kavafian (Violin),
Toby Hoffman (Viola), Mark Peskanov (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994 
Date of Recording: 12/12/1994 
Venue:  Recital Hall, Purchase College, NY 
5.
At the still point, there the dance is by Bruce Adolphe
Performer:  Fred Sherry (Cello), Paul Neubauer (Viola), David Shifrin (Clarinet),
Ida Kavafian (Violin), Ani Kavafian (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/23/1996 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, Purchase College 

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