Friday, May 12, 2017

Taylor, Samuel Coleridge. (1875-1912) & Haim, Paul Ben. (1897-1984) Clarinet Quintets. Top recommendation.

From my collection. 
Bought in January 2017.
First listen: 25-1-2017.
Second listen: 12-5-2017.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates: May 2016.
Recording venue: Studio Britz, Berlin, Germany.
Recording engineer: Andreas Stoffels.
Running time: 62:08.
Relevance to me: Essential.
Top recommendation.

Works performed:
Clarinet Quintet in F minor, opus 10. (Coleridge Taylor)
Clarinet concerto, opus 31a.

Performed by:
Klaus Hampl, Clarinet.
Quartetto di Roma.

This is easily one of the best Naxos cd's I heard in some time. Two composers that are high on my list if it comes to acquiring their music. The quintet from Coleridge Taylor is an absolute gem. It is such a melodious work and so well crafted that I listened in amazement, and I truly mean that. Taylor was an extremely talented composer who died when he was just 37. Cut down in the middle of his creative life due to a lung infection. After listening to this Quintet you wonder what fine works could have come from his hands, would he have lived a full life. Just sample the second movement "Larghetto Affettuoso"  It has such a deep spiritual tinge to it, especially the opening measures. And then this bouncy expressive Scherzo, third movement. What he could not have composed!
Ben-Haim is a composer who had my attention since I bought a CD with orchestral music on the label CPO. His clarinet quintet is a beautiful piece too. There is no musical stress in this work, and it is thus quite harmonious and melodious, and also extremely well written. There is true magic in the third movement "Thema con variazione". I connected with the composition as a whole through this well crafted movement. Ben Haim is in his own way a force to be reckoned with.
A good decision to couple both works, for they are complementary to each other. 
The performance could not be better, and the recording is well done.
A firm recommendation. Top recommendation.

My playlist for 25-4-2018.

If by any chance you might be interested in my thoughts or feelings about the recordings of today, please let me know, and I will provide ad...