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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22017
Recording details: October 1987
Unknown, Unknown
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: November 1989
Total duration: 21 minutes 50 seconds

'A winner' (Gramophone)

'This collection of lesser-known works is very enjoyable and Thea King's playing is excellent throughout' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A thoroughly engaging programme of forgotten music all played with skill and real charm and excellently recorded' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Without question, this release should be on the shelf of every serious student and teacher of the clarinet' (Fanfare, USA)

Clarinet Concerto in G minor, Op 29

Allegro agitato  [8'29]
Adagio  [6'09]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Julius Rietz (1812–1877) was a distinguished conductor. Starting as Mendelssohn’s assistant at the Düsseldorf Opera he later became musical director before moving to Leipzig, where he directed both the Opera and the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Mendelssohn described his conducting as ‘outstandingly good, diligent, precise and very skilful’. He was also a noted cellist but is especially remembered today for his work as a scholar and editor.

His own compositions include both vocal and instrumental works. The Clarinet Concerto, Op 29, is in three linked movements, paralleling the form of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Another feature common to both works is the entry of the soloist after a few introductory bars—a gesture which denies the orchestra the opportunity for its own exposition. Though no one would claim that Rietz is the equal of Mendelssohn his musical language is serious, and generously endowed with melody and harmonic intensity. The slow movement attains a level of serenity which lifts the Concerto well above the merely workmanlike. The infectious rhythms of the last movement lead ultimately to an ebullient coda with orchestra and soloist joining together in a dash to the finishing post and the prize of an ending in the major.

from notes by Hyperion Records Ltd © 1989

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