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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66088
Recording details: January 1982
St Barnabas's Church, North Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Walter Gray
Engineered by Kenneth Wilkinson
Release date: April 1985
Total duration: 24 minutes 50 seconds

'A totally desirable issue' (Fanfare, USA)

Clarinet Concerto No 2 in F minor 'Grand Concerto', Op 5

Allegro  [12'13]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The second concerto, subtitled ‘Grand Concerto’, was one of the most celebrated. It bears a dedication to Alexander I of Russia, probably in gratitude for favours bestowed during Crusell’s visit to St Petersburg. The layout of the three movements is firmly classical although here and there one notices the influence of Beethoven. This influence is most apparent in the opening ritornello which is concentrated and dramatic and contains a strikingly Beethovenian modulation to D flat major. However, with the arrival of the clarinet the drama becomes predominantly lyrical, despite wide leaps and virtuoso passage-work. The conclusion of the first movement, in the tonic major, is closer to the spirit of Haydn; it certainly dispels any impression of personal-dramatic content.

The slow movement (Andante pastorale) is in D flat major and has much of the romantic warmth traditionally associated with that key. Scored for clarinet and strings alone, it opens with a long melody for the clarinet accompanied by held chords and gentle pizzicato triplets on the cellos. The middle section explores darker minor-key regions before returning to a simple condensed repeat of the opening material. On this recording the cadenza just before the reprise, and the subsequent ornamentations, are by Alun Francis.

Despite the return to F minor, the final Rondo: Allegretto is high-spirited and gives ample opportunity for technical display, though Crusell wisely reserves his most brilliant writing for the coda.

from notes by Stephen Johnson © 1994

Other albums featuring this work
'Crusell: Clarinet Concertos' (CDH55203)
Crusell: Clarinet Concertos
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55203  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
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