Arnold, Bernstein, Horovitz, Pascal, Petric & Poulenc

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Arnold,Bernstein,Horovitz,Pascal,Petric & Poulenc
LABELS: Corona
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Legends
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Dusan Sodja (clarinet), Tatjana Kaucic (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: SAZAS CCX 196 (distr. wilma.paterson@virgin.net)
Although only two of the works in their programme fall outside the mainstream repertoire, this new recording by a young Slovenian duo is most welcome for its refreshingly different interpretations. Using considerably more rubato than is customary, they make a compelling case for Poulenc’s well-known Sonata, including a ravishing reading of the beautiful slow movement.

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Dusan Sodja is an extremely assured player with a prodigious technique but these qualities never overshadow the more elusive ability to play long cantabile lines with real depth. His rendition of the gorgeous central movement of Horovitz’s Sonatina is outstanding and represents one of the highlights of the disc. Of the two lesser-known pieces, Claude Pascal’s Three Legends proves a revelation with its vivid, strikingly presented characterisations given a typically charismatic performance by this partnership. The Sonatina by Malcolm Arnold, a work very familiar to clarinettists of all standards, is seen here from a different perspective and the unusual approach to phrasing and articulation should make interesting listening for those with preconceived ideas. Throughout their recital, both players give sparkling, uncontrived performances which convey a genuine passion for the music, thereby ensuring that this disc can be highly recommended. Tim Payne