Michael Collins is an excellent clarinet player, and his virtuosity and sensitive musicianship have made him a favorite of conductors, composers, and audiences throughout the world.
This recording presents a varied repertoire, concentrating generally on its more virtuoso aspects and offering some impressive show-stoppers. Well-known works such as Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise contrast with the brilliance of Giampieri’s “Il Carnevale di Venezia”, and the playful, humorous French pieces by Milhaud and Messager provide a further contrast in mood and color.
Tracks on this CD are as follows:
Gershwin: Preludes Nos. 1-3
Giampieri: Il Carnevale di Venezia’
Lovreglio, D: Fantasia da Concerto su motivi de ‘La Traviata’ by Verdi, Op. 45
Messager: Solo de concours Milhaud: Scaramouche, suite for clarinet & piano (or orchestra), Op. 165d
Milton, S: Carmen Fantasy
Rachmaninov: Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14
Weber: Grand Duo Concertant for clarinet and piano, Op. 48
Weber’s bubbly Grand Duo Concertant is also among the many highlights on this CD. Unlike other works of his, in which the main purpose of the accompanying instruments is to support the virtuoso solo part, the Grand Duo presents an equal presentation of two virtuoso solo parts, one being the clarinet, the other the piano.
Here is Michael Collins with some exciting music: