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Martin Fröst plays Nordic Concertos

“In allen Werken ist Fröst ein Meister von erlesensten Qualitäten – hinsichtlich Intonation, farbenreich makelloser Tonschönheit und lebendig pulsierendem Rhythmus ohnehin, aber eben gerade auch bezüglich der kontinuierlich atmenden Gestaltung, der sanglichen Phrasierungskunst, des Eindrucks spontaner Freiheit in der mätzchenfreien Hingabe an den Geist der jeweiligen Musik.”

Testifying to the multi-facetted talent of Martin Fröst as well as to the different responses that the clarinet has awakened in composers over the years, the present compilation brings together four concertante works in recordings that have all been previously released on separate discs. The opening work, Fröst’s fellow-Swede Anders Hillborg’s ‘Peacock Tales’, is the longest of the four, as well as being something of a calling card for Fröst. It was composed for him in 1998, and on his initiative it incorporates choreographical elements and lighting effects when performed in concert. Hillborg has since made several versions of the work, and Martin Fröst has performed it numerous times worldwide in its different incarnations. The disc Dances to a Black Pipe (BIS-1863) includes a shorter chamber version for clarinet, piano and strings, but the present recording is of the original version, with large symphony orchestra. If Peacock Tales focuses on the soloist, the opposite might be said of the Danish composer Vagn Holmboe’s Concerto No.3 from 1942. The work is one in a series of 13 concertos for one or more solo instruments and small orchestra, and it would seem that the composer, by not mentioning the solo instrument in the titles of these works, wished to signal a particular concern in regards to the relationship between soloist and orchestra. Writing about her On a Distant Shore, subtitled ‘poem for clarinet and chamber orchestra’, the Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist discusses the same problem more directly: ‘How does one arrive at a relationship between soloist and orchestra which is interesting and musically rewarding for everyone: soloist, orchestra and audience?’ Such concerns were probably of less concern to Finnish-Swedish composer and clarinet virtuoso Bernhard Crusell. Active during the beginning of the 19th century, Crusell is today mainly known for his clarinet concertos and clarinet quartets, but here Martin Fröst’s clarinet jauntily guides us through one of his earliest works: Introduction, Theme and Variations on a Swedish Air – the air in question being a drinking song popular at the time.
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 11.18
Extra material for download
  Composer: Hillborg, Anders
01 Clarinet Concerto (Peacock Tales) 28:48 $ 4.32 USD
  Composer: Holmboe, Vagn
  Concerto No.3, Op.21 (1940–42) 16:41
02 I. Allegro non troppo 11:00 $ 1.65 USD
03 II. Allegro giocoso 05:41 $ 0.85 USD
  Composer: Rehnqvist, Karin
  On a Distant Shore (2002) 17:47
04 I. The Dark 04:09 $ 0.62 USD
05 II. The Light 05:14 $ 0.79 USD
06 III. The Wild 01:54 $ 0.29 USD
07 IV. The Singing 04:02 $ 0.61 USD
08 V. The Call 02:28 $ 0.37 USD
  Composer: Crusell, Bernhard Henrik
  Introduction, Theme and Variations on a Swedish Air, Op. 124 11:14
09 Introduction 01:10 $ 0.18 USD
10 Theme 01:05 $ 0.16 USD
11 Variation I 01:33 $ 0.23 USD
12 Variation II 01:26 $ 0.22 USD
13 Variation III 01:10 $ 0.18 USD
14 Variation IV 01:46 $ 0.27 USD
15 Variation V 03:04 $ 0.46 USD
  Album total 75:42
ComposerCrusell, Bernhard Henrik
Hillborg, Anders
Holmboe, Vagn
Rehnqvist, Karin
ConductorBeek, Arie van
Hughes, Owain Arwel
Salonen, Esa-Pekka
Sundqvist, Petter
OrchestraAalborg Symphony Orchestra
Swedish Chamber Orchestra (Svenska Kammarorkestern)
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Östgöta Symphonic Wind Ensemble
ClarinetFröst, Martin

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