Seunghee Lee

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Brava Review

by Uncle Dave Lewis

Now here is a talent. Clarinetist Seunghee Lee, who has as warm, silvery, and woody a tone as anyone could imagine with fast and keen fingerwork to match. For her debut CD for Summit Records, a label well known for its services specifically directed at wind players, Lee has wisely chosen music that is endemic to classical clarinet players: two classic Italian concert fantasies from the nineteenth century, a clarinet and piano arrangement of the big clarinet solo from the Rachmaninoff Second Symphony, and Stanley Drucker's arrangement of Rachmaninoff's Vocalise. She adds to this traditional mix the Schubert "Arpeggione" Sonata performed on the clarinet -- positively lovely and non-transposed -- and Lee's own recasting of Elgar's Salut d'amour for her instrument. Summit's Brava goes to some degree beyond the usual instrument-centered recital disc -- mainly of interest to persons who play that specific instrument -- by virtue of the artists' own amazing expressive capabilities; Lee's breath imparts a certain glow to the radiance of her sound that is partly magic and partly a very precise approach to tone and volume. For that reason, among others, more than just clarinetists ought to be able to bring something home from Brava.

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