Peter Cigleris performs with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a programme of four ‘rediscovered’ clarinet concertante works of the first half of the 20th Century. Composed between 1930 and 1947, the works span a time of change in the musical landscape of Great Britain; Pre 1939/40 the two predominant styles within British music were those of Post-Romanticism and Nationalism, whereas Post 1945, with the influence of the BBC, Modernism became the dominant style. By chance it also happens that two prominent British clarinettists tie these four works together; Fredrick Thurston and Reginald Kell were both involved in performances of the works at various points during their careers. A renowned soloist and chamber musician, Peter Cigleris has performed with the CBSO, BBCCO, ENB, Philharmonic, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and Orchestra of the Swan, as well as for a time holding the principal seat with the Symphony Orchestra of India in performances under Charles Dutoit and Rafael Payare amongst others. He has worked with musicians such as Martin Cousins, John Lenehan, Mark Bebbington, Julian Lloyd Webber and the Tippett Quartet, performing for various music clubs and festivals around the UK including the Windsor and Wooburn Festival, English Music Festival, Carlisle International Music Festival, Groba Festival in Spain and the ICA ‘ClarinetFest’.
This valuable disc results from an exploration of lost repertoire by the present clarinettist, Peter Cigleris. Two of these concerted works predate the Second World War and two post-date it. Only the Elizabeth Maconchy has appeared on record before. The performances of these four works for clarinet and orchestra are ideal. Clearly, the soloists Peter Cigleris and Deian Rowlands (Dolmetsch) have taken ownership of these concertos (notwithstanding Thea King’s 1992 disc) and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Ben Palmer have entered into the spirit of this music. The recording is great and the liner notes, presumably by Cigleris, are helpful; the CD cover design could have been a lot more appealing, though. This is an excellent CD. How often do reviewers conclude by expressing the wish that the music were more widely known? I would extend that to include the achievements of all the composers represented here. Finally, I hope that clarinettist Peter Cigleris keeps up the good work and “rediscovers” many more forgotten scores.
– MusicWeb International