Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas & Clarinet works by Mendelssohn & Schumann


1 CD 

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28 Νοεμβρίου 2022

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Felix Mendelssohn

Clarinet Sonata in E flat major

Robert Schumann

Fantasiestücke, Op. 73 (Romanzen)

Johannes Brahms

Sonata No. 1 for Clarinet and Piano in F Minor, Op. 120, No.1

Sonata No. 2 for Clarinet and Piano in E-Flat Major, Op. 120, No. 2


John Lenehan (Piano), Emma Johnson (Clarinet)

Clarinetist Emma Johnson is one of the world’s finest and most sought-after exponents of her craft. It took her a long time, however, before she dared to record the two Brahms sonatas op. 120, and not without reason: the profundity inherent in Brahms’ late compositions requires an artistic maturity that can ultimately only develop from years of study and interpretive practice with the work. The result is more than convincing: Johnson’s sensitive, yet unpretentious playing and her warm tone are reminiscent of the great art of Richard Mühlfeld, to whom Brahms dedicated the sonatas brahms dedicated the sonatas to. The sonata by Mendelssohn, who was only 15 years old, forms a charming contrast to Brahms’ late work in its youthful freshness and unconcern, which Emma Johnson and her congenial partner on the piano, John Lenehan, bring out in an enchanting manner. Finally, the Fantasiestücke by Robert Schumann are also carried by the inspired interplay full of verve and esprit. A reference recording in every respect!

Brahms’s elusive pronouncements about tempo variation have encouraged her into a good deal of rhythmic elasticity, sounding mostly idiomatic and spontaneous but just occasoinally forced and artificial. John Lenehan matches Johnson’s rhythmic inflections, but doesn’t always succeed in finding sonorities and phrasing on a par with her inward quiet playing. — BBC Music Magazine, August 2012, 4 out of 5 stars