Copland: Clarinet Concerto, Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet, Gershwin: Three Preludes

London Symphony Orchestra

The Clarinet Concerto (also known as the Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp) came out of Copland's most fertile time. It was commissioned by Benny Goodman in 1947, and had its debut performance by him in 1950. It has the polish of a composer at his prime. In fact, Copland wrote very few major works after this concerto.

The structure is simple; a slow movement follwed by a fast movement, linked by a cadenza. The first movement is labelled "Slowly and expressively" and has hints of Latin America, where Copland drew his inspiration.

Stoltzman's clarinet rises laguidly over the strings and harp. This is sweet, poignant music, beautifully played. The cadenza for the solo clarinet is sharp and technically demanding, a virtuoso piece, and Stoltzman plays it with relish. It provides a bridge to the contrasting final movement, a lively, jazzy piece, again with Latin American influences.

- Good-Music-Guide.com

Track Listing:

Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
Clarinet Concerto
and works by Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin
Richard Stoltzman, clarinet
Michael Tilson Thomas
London Symphony Orchestra

Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
Clarinet Concerto (16:43)

Gordon Jenkins (b.1910)
Goodbye (in memory of Benny) (arr. Douglas) (4:18)

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Sonata for Clarinet (orch. Ramin) (11:32)
West Side Story – Variants (arr. Bennet) (12:45)

George Gershwin (1898-1937)
Promenade (Walking the Dog) (arr. Silverman(2:22)
Bess, You is My Woman Now (arr. Silverman) (5:49)
Short Story (arr. Sebesky) (3:04)
– 11 Three Preludes (arr. Sebesky) (6:46)

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