Here are unlikely bedfellows.
David Bruce’s Gumboots looks back to the apartheid regime in South Africa, when miners had to toil in flooded gold mines wearing gumboots.
The rhythms of them slapping their boots and chains are transformed into a set of African-inspired dance movements for bass clarinet and string quartet—at first haunting, then breezy, catchy, exhilarating.
It seems improbable that admirers of Bruce’s music are in urgent need of a new recording of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet.
If they are, clarinettist Julian Bliss and the Carducci Quartet are most sensitive and elegiac.