Weber • Bruch: Works for Clarinet, Viola and Orchestra
Bruch: Double Concerto for Clarinet & Viola; Romanian Melody, etc; Weber: Clarinet Concertino; Andante & Rondo Ungarese
Dimitri Ashkenazy (clarinet), Anton Kholodenko (viola); Royal Baltic Festival Orchestra/Mars Liljefors
Paladino pmr 0089 56:39 mins
The soloist on this enterprising release from the small Austrian label Paladino is Dimitri Ashkenazy, Vladimir’s son. I doubt whether many listeners, however wide and avid their tastes in 19th-century music, will have heard, or even heard of, most of these short pieces before. The opening item, Weber’s Concertino for clarinet and orchestra, is characteristic, though like the second piece here it shows the composer in relaxed lyrical mood rather than the scale-ridden gallop that I usually associate with his music for this favourite instrument of his.
Most of the disc is devoted to Max Bruch, who seems to be staging a very modest revival. Here Ashkenazy and the orchestra are joined by Anton Kholodenko on the viola, and though it would be rash to say that this music couldn’t be by anyone but Bruch, it comes as no surprise that these pieces, two of which have been orchestrated by Sergey Evtushenko, are by him. There aren’t all that many concertos for clarinet and viola around, and these fluent pieces, none of which exceeds its fairly brief welcome, makes for delightful if not repeated listening.