Collins’ Clarinet

The Lyrical Clarinet by Michael Collins

Baermann, H:

  • Clarinet Quintet No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 23: Adagio

Burgmüller, N:

  • Duo for Clarinet & Piano, Op. 15


  • Five Bagatelles for clarinet & piano, Op. 23


  • Spiegel im Spiegel


  • Clarinet Sonata, Op. 184


  • Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite


  • Clarinet Sonata in E flat major, Op. 167

Performed by Michael Collins (clarinet) & Michael McHale (piano)

Michael Collins, the virtuoso clarinetist, returns for a second volume in a series showcasing the amazingly wide range of music written for his instrument. The first volume titled “The Virtuoso Clarinet” was described by International Record Review as: ‘…an absolute charmer, most beautifully played… difficult to imagine a finer performance than that given here.’

Accompanied by pianist Michael McHale, Collins shows us the lyrical qualities of the clarinet in a highly varied program. Baermann’s Adagio in D flat illustrates the clarinet’s capacity for sustained lyric melody, taking on the character of an operatic aria, the clarinet’s soulful line interspersed with sudden bursts of rhythmic qualities.
Other enjoyable works on this release are the Saint-Saëns four-movement Clarinet Sonata in E flat, and the Poulenc Clarinet Sonata.

The Saint-Saëns sonata is one of three woodwind sonatas composed shortly before the composer’s death in 1921. Here, too, the clarinet appears at its most lyrical; later in the piece, quicker and more extrovert music is presented , and the movement exploits fully the virtuoso aspects of the clarinet.

The Clarinet Sonata of 1962, one of Poulenc’s last works, was dedicated to the memory of Arthur Honegger. This accounts for the intense sense of sadness early in this work; But the finale offers relief from the sad mood, capturing a variety of witty and highly rhythmic ideas right up to the conclusion of the sonata.

Here is Clarinetist Michael Collins talking about his latest collection of clarinet music for Chandos Records, ‘The Lyrical Clarinet’, featuring sonatas by Saint-Saëns and Poulenc, plus works by Burgmüller, Finzi, Baermann, Pärt and Reade.

Tags: Michael Collins, Clarinet

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