Caprices and Laments: Clarinet Concertos by Nielsen, Copland & MacMillan

The benevolent shadow of Mozart meets a strain of emotional turbulence in Carl Nielsen’s unforgettable, at times inscrutable Clarinet Concerto – his last major orchestral work, completed three years before his death in 1931. Dating from two decades later, Aaron Copland’s concerto for the same instrument similarly bridges stylistic and expressive contrasts: composed with the genre-crossing expertise of Benny Goodman in mind, it brings a vein of lyrical sadness together with the verve of mid-century popular idioms from both the USA and Brazil.

James MacMillan’s Tuireadh, meanwhile, is a single-minded outpouring of grief, raising instruments to an almost vocal quality of expression in a lament for the victims of the Piper Alpha oil-rig fire. Clarinettist Maximiliano Martín – an internationally active soloist as well as principal clarinet of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – is joined here by the symphony orchestra of his native Tenerife in three works which truly cover the gamut of human emotion.

"The chemistry between Maximiliano Martin and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra is as natural as it gets ... Martin finds endless colour, rhythmic bite and charmed lyricism in these self-defining performances, sensitively matched by fine orchestral playing under conductor Lucas Macías Navarro"

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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"What I like most about this release is the playing of the Spanish soloist Maximiliano Martin, principal clarinet of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, an artist of great experience who has so much more to say in these pieces than the general run of record fodder"  ★ ★ ★ ★

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"[The Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife] is very good indeed. An internationally-recruited outfit, there is a crisp freshness to their string sound ... The featured soloist is local lad Maximiliano Martin, long-standing principal clarinet of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra ... For all that this is Martin’s disc, his countrymen are by no means a mere backing track, given the robust repertoire he has chosen to showcase his own virtuosity"

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"Martín elevates this exquisite score [Nielsen] to the culmination with a wise combination of great technique and musicality. The singing clarinet explores the extreme registers of the instrument, the impossible dynamics capable of cutting off our breath and the flying passages like “capricious laments”

Pablo Álvarez Fernández

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"With Martín one feels a sense of Copland's mastery; and the Tenerife Orchestra is clearly a top-shelf ensemble ... Martín's sound is simply beautiful: liquid, burnished and warm with little to no harshness in the upper reaches ... A great combination of pieces, brilliantly performed with great understanding"


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Release Date: 22 January 2021
Recorded on 21-24 January 2020 in the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Producer: Paul Baxter

Engineer: Matthew Swan

24-bit digital editing: Matthew Swan

24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter


Aaron CoplandClarinet Concerto

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