Mathias: Clarinet Concerto; Piano Concerto No. 3; Harp Concerto

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

LABELS: Lyrita
WORKS: Clarinet Concerto; Piano Concerto No. 3; Harp Concerto
PERFORMER: Gervase de Peyer (clarinet), Peter Katin (piano), Osian Ellis (harp); LSO, New Philharmonia Orchestra/David Atherton
CATALOGUE NO: SRCD 325 ADD (1971-77)
All three soloists give beautiful, dedicated readings here. The Harp Concerto is ravishing. Mathias evokes a real magic garden – a carpet of sensuous trumpet, flute and percussion, as if Britten’s Puck and Tippett’s Ariel were holding a joint nocturnal séance. Occasionally, a promising rhapsodic idea waxes thin, a scampering Allegro lacks that jazzy, Copland-like ease to which it aspires, or a wodge of Messiaenic chords feels like wallpapering. But Mathias achieves a motoric drive worthy of James MacMillan, and both orchestras respond admirably. The Philharmonia marginally overbears in some tuttis in the flamboyant Clarinet Concerto, whose opening movement fares best. The Lyrita sound is admirable. Roderic Dunnett