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  BIS -
  Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas & Trio - Fröst, Pöntinen, Thedéen
  Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas Op. 120 Nos. 1 & 2, Clarinet Trio Op. 114

Martin Fröst, clarinet (Frost)
Roland Pöntinen, piano (Pontinen)
Torleif Thedéen, cello (Thedeen)
Track listing:
  Classical - Chamber
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 4 show all

Site review by Polly Nomial December 10, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:    
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Review by nickc January 28, 2006 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Three late, radiant clarinet masterpieces from Brahms in a very generous 67' coupling.

The first sonata is dramatic, the second melting and mellifluous - both around 20' long.

The trio is the darkest and perhaps greatest work on this disc - what a lovely combination piano cello and clarinet is! The playing in all three pieces is absolutely impeccable.

The sound in MC is excellent yet I have to raise like I did in my review of Frost's Mozart BIS disc that when the volume level rises from Frost you can hear a hissing from the clarinet. I have only ever heard clarinets live in orchestral settings so obviously it is just how the air moves through the instrument, yet it is there nonetheless.

In comparison I put on a Philips Duo of George Pieterson and Hepzibah Menuhin playing these self-same sonatas and I couldn't really hear the hissing - I suppose there can be slight downsides to the greater clarity of SACD! In all other respects (especially the sound of the piano) the sound of this BIS disc is immeasurably superior - and of course the 90% of the time there is no hissing Frost's tone is limpid and beautiful.

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Review by terence April 14, 2006 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
a lovely disc, very fresh and unpretentious in spirit. sonically it's very good - a clear, uncluttered ambience, with good tonal fidelity to the instruments.

to be hypercritical there's just a TOUCH of smearing of the clarinet's instrumental image (especially in its warm middle range), probably due to a slight engineering miscalculation on controlling reverberation. this is also detectable as a SLIGHT (but only slight) blurring of some detail in the piano part in its busier sections. but these are small considerations. sound overall is very pleasing.

many felicitous touches in the interpretations, with no grandstanding or over-inflation stylistically. it's arguable that the pianist is a little TOO concessive here and there, but far better that than clangorously seeking attention. clarinettist martin fröst is consistently excellent.

a warm recommendation!

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Works: 3  

Johannes Brahms - Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1
Johannes Brahms - Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 120 No. 2
Johannes Brahms - Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114