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Weber: Clarinet Concertos Nos. 1 and 2; Clarinet Concertino; Horn Concertino / Michael Collins

Audio Samples

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concertino for Clarinet in E flat major, J 109/Op. 26
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concerto for Clarinet no 1 in F minor, J. 114 (Op. 73)
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concertino for horn & orchestra in E minor, J. 188 (Op. 45)
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concerto for Clarinet no 2 in E flat major, J. 118 (Op. 74)

Album Summary

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concertino for Clarinet in E flat major, J 109/Op. 26
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concerto for Clarinet no 1 in F minor, J. 114 (Op. 73)
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concertino for horn & orchestra in E minor, J. 188 (Op. 45)
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concerto for Clarinet no 2 in E flat major, J. 118 (Op. 74)
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

On this disc, the exclusive Chandos artist, Michael Collins, plays the clarinet in three works for clarinet and orchestra by Weber, as well as conducting the City of London Sinfonia. The disc also includes Weber's horn concertino, featuring the soloist Stephen Stirling. Each of the works displays a well-balanced mix of virtuosity, daring, humour, and sheer beauty, and throughout, the role of the orchestra is much more than a mere accompaniment.

"Straightforward and sunny - bright and playful performances of the clarinet works (Michael Collins conducts himself) and Stephen Stirling evidently enjoying himself in the Horn Concertino and its tricky cadenza." -Gramophone

International Record Review
At first listening this might not seem to be the most sheerly virtuosic playing on the market, partly because Collins does not restrict himself to what he can do smoothly, his dynamic range or his staccato speed just past their safe limit when his sense of the music's drama requires it... It is hardly self-evident that a new release of these famiiar works will find something new to say

BBC Music Magazine
Collins, acting as both soloist and conductor, offers dazzling performances that make use of the elaborations Baermann made to the clarinet part. He is equally at home in the intimate lyricism of Weber's slow movement as he is in the brilliance of the writing elsewhere... [Stirling] rises to the challenge of the extreme technical demands [of the Concertino]

The Guardian
Collins directs the orchestra as well as dispatching the solo parts with wit and aplomb, and he also takes charge of the accompaniment to Stephen Stirling's performance of Weber's Concertino for horn, a piece that inevitably sounds rather staid alongside the glittering clarinet works.

Gramophone Magazine
Straightforward and sunny - bright and playful performances of the clarinet works (Michael Collins conducts himself) and Stephen Stirling evidently enjoying himself in the Horn Concertino and its tricky cadenza.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London (04/08/2011-04/11/2011).



Reviews

Clarinet standards played brilliantly!
Michael Collins has become England's and, certainly, one of the world's, preeminent clarinet soloists. Having burst onto the scene when he won the 1978 BBC Young Artists' competition. Like other English virtuosi, such as Gervase DePeyer and Reginald Kell, Collins has made most of his reputation as a soloist (this in a country that has a long distinguished heritage of clarinet artistry). He has a rounded, liquid tone and appreciable technique, including a crisp staccato. Frankly, I have never heard a Collins performance I have not liked, including the present. His tempi are occasionally a bit urgent (like the closing of the Weber "Concertino") but - because he can, as they say - and it is impressive. The clarinet works of Carl Maria von Weber are mandatory fare for any serious clarinetist and these are wonderful performances. I actually heard the young Collins' award winning performance of the Weber 2nd recently and then had the good fortune to hear this disc. If anything, forty years have given Michael some additional artistry and a true feel for the style. This disc offers a couple of other unique perspectives for the listener. First, we get to hear Collins as an orchestral leader (even when the concert master Laura Samuel is taking the lead) Collins became the conductor of the present ensemble, the City of London Sinfonietta in 2010 and his feel for chamber orchestra repertoire is apparent. The group responds with great sensitivity (my favorite Weber adagio; the second movement in the 1st Concerto, shines in this recording!) Another very good reason to ad this disc to your collection is the addition of the Weber "Concertino" for horn and orchestra, op.45. This is a charming but dramatic work that resembles the tone of some of Weber's operas (most notably "Oberon"; he being primarily an opera composer) French hornist Stephen Stirling plays beautifully on Collins' baton. There are so many good reasons to own this disc. Whether it is to hear some really fine playing, or to get to know Michael Collins as a conductor or to become better familiar Weber in some of his finest output, this disc is a winner. Kudos to the sound people at Chandos for their usual excellent job as well!
Submitted on 02/23/12 by Dan Coombs 
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Works Details

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concertino for Clarinet in E flat major, J 109/Op. 26
  • Performer: Michael Collins (Clarinet)
  • Conductor: Michael Collins
  • Ensemble: City Of London Sinfonia
  • Notes: St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London (04/08/2011-04/11/2011)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1811

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concerto for Clarinet no 1 in F minor, J. 114 (Op. 73)
  • Performer: Michael Collins (Clarinet)
  • Conductor: Michael Collins
  • Notes: St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London (04/08/2011-04/11/2011)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1811

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concertino for horn & orchestra in E minor, J. 188 (Op. 45)
  • Performer: Stephen Stirling (Horn)
  • Conductor: Michael Collins
  • Notes: St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London (04/08/2011-04/11/2011)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1806

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Concerto for Clarinet no 2 in E flat major, J. 118 (Op. 74)
  • Performer: Michael Collins (Clarinet)
  • Conductor: Michael Collins
  • Notes: St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London (04/08/2011-04/11/2011)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1811