Rawsthorne, Jacob, Cooke

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Cooke,Jacob,Rawsthorne
LABELS: Hyperion Helios
WORKS: Clarinet Concerto
PERFORMER: Thea King (clarinet); Northwest CO of Seattle/Alun Francis
CATALOGUE NO: CDH 55069 Reissue (1981)
This enjoyable reissue features three English clarinet concertos accompanied by strings. Alan Rawsthorne’s Concerto, written in 1936-7 for Frederick Thurston (later Thea King’s teacher and husband), is among his earliest surviving works, but already shows his characteristically thoughtful, restrained manner. Gordon Jacob’s Mini-Concerto, written for King in 1980, is compact and tuneful. Arnold Cooke’s 1956 Concerto is much more expansive, but does not outstay its welcome, and its slow movement delightfully quotes the song of a Kensington blackbird. Thea King’s liquid, beautifully even playing shines through in a swimmy acoustic which leaves the front desks of the strings a little exposed. Anthony Burton