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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55261
Recording details: May 1996
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: January 1997
Total duration: 19 minutes 51 seconds

'This is a really delightful collection of pieces. Both Lawson and Harris play superbly throughout, blending well together and displaying immaculate intonation' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Un hermoso y magnificamente interpretado registro, con el habituel buen sonido de Hyperion' (CD Compact, Spain)

Clarinet Concerto in E flat major
composer
1812

Allegro  [11'20]
Adagio  [3'03]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
James Hook’s clarinet concerto was never published. It survives in the composer’s autograph score, once in the collection of W H Cummings and now in the Nanki Library, Tokyo. It is dated 1812 and was probably written for the concerts at Vauxhall Gardens; Hook was resident organist and composer there for forty-six summers, from 1774 until 1820. The work is still basically in the galant style, though the clarinet-writing is much more elaborate and wide-ranging than Mahon’s, with frequent forays into the chalumeau register, and the slow movement has a Beethovenian sense of drama, contrasting severe string tuttis with more mellifluous solos in a way that is oddly similar to the slow movement of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto. Hook returned to a more conventional and old-fashioned idiom for the virtuoso finale, though there are some pleasing and original textures in the last episode, where the clarinet’s arpeggios accompany a series of village band imitations in the orchestra.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1997

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