There are so many wonderful things about this recording. It is played exquisitely. The ensemble between de Graaff and Lemoh is impeccable. The carefully chosen collection of pieces makes a great listening experience. And there is a nice balance between pieces you will probably be familiar with, and new works to enjoy.
Four Australian composers featured: Julie Simonds (who co-produced the recording, and arranged the Piazzola pieces), Matthew Hindson, George Pikler and Elena Kats-Chernin.
A brash flourish announces your program has begun, and continues into a homage entitled Hello, Mr Gershwin. Although Bela Kovacs’ work is reminiscent of that composer’s pieces, it only quotes him directly with a few bars from Rhapsody in Blue at the end.
I love the two Pocket Sonatas by Alec Templeton which feature near the beginning and then close to the end of the program. These jazzy works were written by a Welsh clarinet prodigy who made his home in New York, playing in some of the finest classical and jazz ensembles in the US.
Many of the pieces on the recording were either written for Deborah de Graaff or specially arranged for her. I am enjoying listening to the Piazzolla pieces, most of which I had heard played on violin or guitar, now being sensitively interpreted by this superb clarinettist. The final offering, Milonga del Angel, is particularly affecting.
The performers have made this recording available in several media, including iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services. I can’t find it listed by Australian stores which sell CDs, but you may purchase a copy from her website.
The CD packaging is really something and includes pertinent information about the performers, composers and the works performed. I have made use of these liner notes in writing this review, but you’ll find a lot more there, I promise. And the CD is the only medium which includes these insights into the music.
I highly recommend this engaging recording. I think it would have wide appeal.