If at first it seemed that Annelien Van Wauwe – the Belgian clarinettist, another BBC New Generation Artists featured during this Wigmore Hall series – was the star, with Nino Gvetadze merely supporting on the ivories, that impression was quickly dispelled during the Debussy. Very much the clarinettist’s show as it starts, the Rapsodie soon becomes a dialogue with the piano, albeit that a large part of the attraction is the way it also displays the wind instrument’s capabilities. Both performers engaged with gusto, Van Wauwe in particular making the most of the many opportunities for long, sinuous lines and manic, rapid-fire style.
There are some similarly flash passages in Poulenc’s Sonata (dedicated to Honegger) and first-performed by Benny Goodman and Leonard Bernstein, but what was most notable here were Van Wauwe’s subtle variations in phrasing and emphasis – in music that could otherwise feel repetitive – and in the vocal quality of the slow movement. The Finale, cheeky and verging on the diabolical, had virtuosic contributions from Gvetadze too. She then played Schumann’s Arabeske. Its gentility is surely misleading, and that quality is there, as much as anything else, to accentuate the poignancy of the more-introspective passages. Gvetadze managed the shifting moods with impressive certainty, and subtlety, yet without giving in to out-and-out yearning until the final bars, a sigh of resignation, or despair. C-major has rarely sounded less contented.
The other highlight was the joyous second movement of the Brahms. If there is a twinge of doubt or gloom here, it is quickly conquered melodically, and the two performers complemented each other as smoothly as Brahms’s handling of their respective instruments. The succeeding Andante con moto introduction to the Finale, with its rhythmic fixations, is perhaps more of a mixed bag musically, but the Allegro brought a bravura finish, ‘soloist’ and ‘accompanist’ working as a sensitive, confident – and equal – partnership.
- Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 (available on BBC iPlayer for thirty days afterwards)
- Wigmore Hall www.wigmore-hall.org.uk
19 March 2017
VIP Ricardo Morales Soloist with the 'Presidents Own' The United States Marine Band performing Jonathan Leshnoff's Clarinet Concerto - Northern Virginia Community College
Alexandria, Virginia USA
19 March 2017
Senior VIP Franklin Cohen performs Oscar Navarro's 2nd Clarinet Concerto with the Charlotte, Florida Symphony
Charlotte, Florida USA
Charlotte Symphony ends season on a high note
By BILL JONES
The Charlotte Symphony orchestra ended its season Sunday evening at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda the same way it began in November, with a cheering, shouting audience on its feet, acclaiming the orchestra, its maestro and its musicians.
In a program perhaps unmatched in the orchestra’s four years under the baton of Maestro Raffaele Ponti, the orchestra began by enthralling its audience into almost a hushed reverence with the lyrical, emotional whispering of strings to Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” written by Barber to commemorate early loss and spiritual ascension.
It followed with a stunning, virtuoso performance by world renowned clarinetist Franklin Cohen, playing Oscar Navarro’s “Clarinet Concerto No. 2,” combining Latin passion and rhythm with soft touches of jazz, and a stirring conclusion in which the voice of the clarinet literally filled the center, resulting in a long, loud standing ovation.
Ponti, who had once played trumpet for the Cleveland Orchestra, where Cohen was a member of the orchestra and chair of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s clarinet department for 40 years, introduced Cohen from the podium as “a wonderful, amazing, sensitive, beautiful” musician, adding, “Conducting for him tonight is a dream come true.”
In a post-concert reception, awe was in the air, led by Cohen. In an interview, “The hall sounded great,” he said. “The orchestra did a great job. I’ve played Beethoven’s 5th in concert halls all over the world, and tonight was the best I’ve heard in many years. You have wonderful musicians. It was a realthrill for me. “Raffaele brings discipline, balance and freedom to the orchestra,” Cohen said. “He’s also a genuine guy, a warm musician. He’s supporting and sensitive. He makes a difference. I love playing for him.”
Ponti, looking back over his four years with the CSO, compared the orchestra’s advance “like good wine, over time, we’re getting better and better. We have the right peoplein the right place at the right time, and they all want to play well.”
14 - 16 March 2017
Recital / Master Classes at the Beijing Central Conservatory with VIP Philippe Cuper - Solo Clarinetist in the Paris Opera, Professor at the Versailles Conservatory, France
Peking / Beijing, China
12 March 2017
VIP Sabine Grofmeier, Soloist performing Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Neue Philharmonie
12 March 2017
Alexander Fiterstein, Renowned Soloist and newly appointed Professor at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, Soloist performing Argento's Capriccio for Clarinet and Orchestra "Rossini in Paris" with the Saint Paul (Minnesota) Civic Symphony
Saint Paul Minnesota USA
11 March 2017
Senior VIP Franklin Cohen performs Oscar Navarro's 2nd Clarinet Concerto with the Paducah, Kentucky Symphony
Paducah, Kentucky USA
9 - 11 March 2017
Backun International Clarinet Competition - Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee USA
9 March 2017
Julian Herve, Soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in Performance of Mozart Clarinet Concerto K622
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
4 March 2017
Southern Mississippi University (Hattiesburg) Clarinet Day
Hattiesburg, Mississippi USA
1 - 4 March 2017
Clarinets on Stage Festival - VIP Eddy Vanoosthuyse, Director
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Revised: March 25, 2017