Michael Collins / Michael McHale

The Lyrical Clarinet, Vol. 3

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This is the third in a series of Lyrical Clarinet albums released by Michael Collins at a leisurely pace since the early 2010s. There are also Virtuoso Clarinet albums. All have been successful and testify to the renewed appeal of the short pieces that used to populate instrumental recitals and not just those for the clarinet. In this installment, only one work, the Fantaisie of Philippe Gaubert, was originally written for clarinet and piano, the rest are arrangements. Among these are some very familiar tunes, such as Träumerei from Schumann's Kinderszenen, Op. 15, and the Liebesleid and Schön Rosmarin of Fritz Kreisler, pieces that listeners still want to hear despite a century of tight-lipped modernists trying to discourage them. There are tunes by Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Brahms, but the program is essentially French in inspiration. Collins is an arresting player, with a voice-like tone that he intermittently abandons for an edgier sound, just to make the rounded clarinet voice all the sweeter when it returns. He closes with his arrangement of Franck's Violin Sonata. This might easily have gone on one of the Virtuoso Clarinet albums, and it's a commanding performance. It might also have been put in the middle of the program rather than at the end, to break up the sequence of pieces of essentially similar mood, but this is a minor complaint about an album that will be essential for clarinet lovers and attractive for those who enjoy a tuneful instrumental recital of any kind.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 04:19 Amazon
2 03:12 Amazon
3 07:29 Amazon
4 02:30 Amazon
5 03:20 Amazon
6 01:56 Amazon
7 03:11 Amazon
8 02:21 Amazon
9 02:14 Amazon
10 04:33 Amazon
11 02:22 Amazon
12 03:05 Amazon
13 02:42 Amazon
Sonata, M 8 in A major for Piano and Violin
14 05:39 Amazon
15 07:51 Amazon
16 07:08 Amazon
17 06:05 Amazon
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