Album Title: MOZART SERENADE NO. 10 "GRAN PARTITA"
Recording: London Symphony Orchestra Wind Ensemble
Conductor: Lorenzo Iosco
Publisher: LSO Live SACD LSO5075
This legendary composition by Mozart doesn't need any introduction to orchestra and wind ensemble players. This masterwork for a dozen wind players plus string bass (or contrabassoon) is a historic seven movement composition for a large ensemble of wind instruments. The choice of string bass is used for this performance and serves as a supportive voice that can be both heard and felt. A pair of basset horns play a very important role within the Serenade; their voices could be considered the predecessors to future harmony clarinets. There are a few modern day wind ensembles that will revive the basset horn to substitute for or strengthen the alto clarinet usage. The Christmas Clarinets CD reviewed in this issue is a prime example. The performance by the members of the London Symphony Orchestra is most exquisite. Every audio music library should have a quality recording of the Gran Partita and this would be a splendid version.
Album Title: CHRISTMAS CLARINETS
Recording: University of Florida Clarinet Ensemble (and friends!)
Conductor: Mitchell Estrin
Publisher: MARK 53294-MCD
If stores can push their Christmas wares ahead of time so can I. Regular readers of MusiClips know I am quite fond of this ensemble and their fourth release is another winner. The repertoire is familiar to all but the settings are truly imaginative, fresh and creative. Plenty of Leroy Anderson is featured including Matt Johnston's spectacular take on A Christmas Festival. Among the other gems are excerpts from the Nutcracker Suite, Overture to Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) and more. MARK also has Christmas ensemble recordings for other instrumental families; be sure to check their catalog. Christmas Clarinets is the ultimate Christmas ornament and you don't have to be a clarinetist to appreciate the magnificent University of Florida Clarinet Ensemble...and that includes me!