Mozarts famous Clarinet concerto with Alfred Prinz I hope I am spelling his name right. Also on Hyperion there is Crussel's three clarinet concertos with Thea King with Aulin francis conducting....enjoy
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I love the Corigliano. I've got Stanley Drucker performing it with the NY Phil. Unfortunately it's recorded in DBX vinyl and my tape deck with DBX gave up the ghost decades ago. I can play it back, but the dynamics are screwed.
Anyway, it's a great, modern concerto that I would highly recommend to the adventuresome.
One choice would be Mozart's Clarinet Quintet by Anthony Michaelson of Musical Fidelity fame done well by Stereophile and John Atkinson. The highs are magical. It is STPH 015-2 and ordered from Stereophile.com.
Another is Mozart's Clarinet Concerto as mentioned above but by Anthony Michaelson again SACD by Stereophile. Or By Christopher Hogwood and Anthony Pay on the L'oiseau-Lyre label 414-339-2. All are lovely.
Mozart A Major, K622 of course. (It's always Mozart). I have a SACD with Neville Marriner conducting, and his son Andrew on Clarinet. (Pentatone PTC 5186 048).
The clarinet was still in the process of evolution as Mozart was writing, and he designed the Quintet and Concerto for the instrument developed by his friend and fellow Freemason, the clarinet virtuoso Anton Stadler (1753-1812); the "bassett clarinet". This instrument was no success, but of course Mozart's music lived on - although in arrangements for other solo instruments notably viola, made after his death. Mozart's original solo part for the concerto is today vanished. For the solo part to be playable on the clarinet, the arranger had to do adaptations of the melodic material.
Viola players consider this concerto to be theirs, and are quite annoyed by the clarinet players stealing it. Poor things: so little is written for viola.
I love the chamber music of Francis Poulenc which often features clarinet (as well as bassoon, oboe) very prominently.
The 2nd half of the first disc (tracks 7-13) are some of my favorite classical recordings period. I just listened to them today. Tracks 7-9 is a sonato for two clarinets that is so beautiful and contemplative. I would give the recording quality 4 stars but the performance a 5. Happy hunting!
Crusell's clarinet concertos are a lot of fun. Also, try out Beethoven's -- yes, of course, he didn't write one, but Mikhail Pletnev has arranged Beethoven's Violin Concerto for clarinet and conducts it on DG with Michael Collins as the soloist -- paired with, dare I say it, the ubiquitous (with a reason) Mozart.
I second Schipo's selection and it is Alfred Prinz. On my particular disc, Prinz is accompanied by Karl Bohm and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. It is on Deutsche Grammophon #429 816-2. This is a great disc because it also includes Mozart's KV314 Concerto for Oboe and KV191 Concerto for Bassoon as well.
Here is my list of recommended clarinet music:
1) Mozart - "Clarinet Concerto in A, K622" w/Sabine Meyer, live recording w/Claudio Abbado(also has Debussy)
2) Mozart - "Clarinet Quintet K581" w/Sabine Meyer or Richard Stolzman
3) Webber - "Clarinet Concerto" w/Sabine Meyer
4) Krommer, Spohr - "Clarinet Concertos" w/ Sabine Meyer, Julian Bliss
5) "French Works for Clarinet and Piano"(includes Saint-Saens, Poulenc, Devienne, Milhaud) w/Sabine Meyer, Oleg Maysenberg
6) Copland Clarinet Concerto w/Stanley Drucker
7) Corigliano Clarinet Concerto wit either Stanley Drucker or Richard Stolzman both are good
8) Stravinsky Ebony Concerto w/Richard Stolzman.
9) Finzi Clarinet Concerto w/Emma Johnson. Unfortunately this one isn't performed/recorded often enough thus the selection is limited, but Emma Johnson is pretty decent
10) Poulenc Sextet for Piano, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn
11) Brahms Clarinet Sonata #1 and #2 w/Harold Wright
12) Brahms Clarinet Quintet w/Harold Wright
13) Brahms Clarinet Trio
14) Schubert - Der Hirt Auf Dem Flesem w/Harold Wright
You basically can not go wrong with Sabine Meyer recordings of anything. She has a traditional, classical, round tone with very little to no vibrato at all. My other favorites are Stanley Drucker, Ricardo Morales, Harold Wright and Richard Stolzman. Stolzman plays with a bit too much vibrato for my tastes, but otherwise really good. Harold Wright's early recordings are very good as well.
FWIW, I would not bother with Thea King on Hyperion label. Her performing is sub par and Hyperion CDs tend to be very pricey. I initially liked it on the first listen when I bought the Brahms sonatas recording but on the second, more critical approach I found that she disappoints. I haven't listened to the cd since then.
Mozart Clarinet Concerto K622 and Quintet K581 are a joy to listen to and if you play clarinet are lots of fun to play as well. Stolzman or Meyer do superb job on these 2 pieces.
Poulenc is a really interesting composer. As a matter of fact, I would recommend everything from Poulenc, not just chamber music. His piano concerto and concerto for two pianos are both outstanding. The French works for Clarinet and Piano cd is great. I couldn't stop listening to it when I bought it.
Anyway, good luck and enjoy the music!
Interesting repertoire and recorded with spectacular sound is: Nielsen and Aho Clarinet Concertos. (Martin Frost, clarinet, with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra directed by Osmo Vänskä.)
By the way...An interestring CD is SIMAX PSC 1290 which is a performance of Mozart K622 with viola in place of clarinet as it was played for many years. I think this is the only such recording. It is available from www.arkivmusic.com, or from Simax directly in Norway. You won't find this one at Best Buy, or even the other domestic web vendors. This is a good quality recent recording made in September 2006.
Cheers to you(as well as our other partakers).
Thanks kindly for your rather extensive input.
I learned only last night that many pieces can be auditioned on You Tube.
I was at a party and found that all the 'music' was coming off the net!
So with this mornings coffee started checking out your Bartok Contrasts suggestion(Menuhin). Incredibly involving & stimulating! Certainly a piece where high resolution (audiophile) gear proves very worthwhile-so much rich detail and all essential.
For me this is a "fabulous" late evening piece enjoyed almost as a meditation in a virtual dark vacuum with a snifter of something favorite.
This type of treasure allows me to deeply appreciate all the effort & investment I've made into refining my system to enable me to enjoy the art & depth of such pieces.
While doing this I've been listening to a very enjoyable little disc of Beethoven pieces for Flute & Piano featuring Emmanuel Pahud, Flute and Eric Lasage,Piano from a 4CD box set entitled simply Music for Flute on Naive label(only$20!)
Psacanli, my pleasure.
Unfortunately there isn't much for clarinet music in stores. Most of my CDs were purchased online through amazon.
I also like youtube. As a matter of fact, run a search on youtube for Sabine Meyer. There is a brief intro for the Krommer/Spohr disc that I recommended, with Julian Bliss. It will give you an idea of what kind of music it is and how good Sabine and Julian really are.
Bartok is awesome! If you liked the Contrasts, you absolutely must hear Poulenc's sonata for clarinet and piano. Also Poulenc's Sonata for Flute and Piano is great as well.
And I'll check out your recommendation as well. I haven't heard Beethoven's pieces for flute and piano, so this is good....something new for me to listen to!
how about something beyond the sooo traditional clarinet concertos listed above?
here are some "important" works from the 2nd half of 20th century:
clarinet concertos of note... and notorious : not in any particular order
adviso: if you havent come to terms with works such as ther berg violin concerto or bartok string quartets, many of the works below will present great listening challenges.
hindemith (very hindemith, rarely heard, ambles along as many of this composers works do. many delightful passages, but an acquired taste. most clarinets dont have the stamina or the range of color needed to lift this work. perhaps audiences dont have the patience either! not suggesting you run out to find a recording, but it needs to be on the list.)
carter (difficult for most listeners, highly important composer, good work. will be standard rep in a generation or 2) )
corigliano (easy language, most like this work)
aho (captivating at times, rarely performed composer for american audiences)
musgrave (skip the clarinet concerto, easier than the carter , erb, or yun, but a bit boring overall. however, the work for bass clarinet and orch, autumn sonata, is an unexpected journey)
denisov (superb, one of the contemp clarinet masterpieces hands down, but not an easy listen for most. especially if you find the last 30 years of highly important "classical" eastern european music incomprehensible )
tower (easy to swallow, if you like debussy's language, this is within that context, moved up a century.)
don erb (evocative, mysterious,catty gershwinesque references in the freewheeling 3rd move, a wonderful work, rarely performed. very long. moderately difficult musical language)
adams (the concerto is called "gnarly buttons", good while dusting furniture or clipping toenails, but cant be overlooked because it is by adams. easy listening musical language)
isang yun (extremely challenging for everyone, strident to most, but a highly important composer)
aside: akin to the mozart clarinet concerto transcribed for viola (mentioned by others above) -a mistake to be sure- after all, those violists have all that hindemith stuff LOL -- there is a transcription of the beethoven violin concerto for clarinet (beethoven himself was coerced to transcribe the concerto for piano so the work would be more marketable (some things never change), i heard a performance over the car radio.i nearly caused an accident. amusing, but no cigar.
2 other superb clarinet works, solo clarinet, not concertos.
berio - sequenza IX
boulez - domaines [one of the great masterpcs of late 20th c solo clarinet works.
incidently, a few years ago, boulez added small ensemble movements to answer and musically comment on the solo clarinet sections of domaines. i heard the concert in carnegie hall with boulez and intercontemp. quite amazing. havent yet seen a recording. brings the work up to a very short list of major clarinet + ensemble works of the 21st century !