Andrew Simon / Warren Lee

Ebony and Ivory: Works for Clarinet and Piano

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AllMusic Review by

Here's a delightful clarinet recital approaching the dance-oriented side of 20th century music from a variety of perspectives. It's a bit odd to begin the cleverly titled clarinet-and-piano collection Ebony and Ivory with a work for the ebony solo, Romanian composer Şerban Nichifor's Two Dances for Andrew Simon (the dedicatee is the clarinetist on the present recording, and the work originated when the composer heard the clarinetist play part of it that previously existed independently). However, you could regard it as a curtain-raiser; it doesn't seem to fit anywhere else on the program; and it's such an absolutely appealing mixture of jazz and Eastern European dance music that it stands on its own. Elsewhere you get some neo-classic pieces by the durable Joseph Horovitz, early Lutoslawski when the Bartók influence was especially clear in his music, a more impressionistic four-movement sonata by British composer Arnold Cooke, and a zippy, high-spirited sonatina by Malcolm Arnold to close. You can see why Nichifor liked Simon, who has a real gift for this kind of sparkling material, and Naxos' recording work in Britain's chamber-friendly Wyastone Concert Hall is top-notch. An enjoyable recital for anybody, and essential for clarinetists and their friends.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Two Dances for Andrew Simon
1 1:31 Amazon
2 3:24
Two Majorcan Pieces
3 2:31
4 1:38
Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano
5 5:20
6 4:18
7 3:50
8 7:47 Amazon
Dance Preludes (Version for clarinet and piano)
9 1:01
10 3:15
11 1:08
12 3:57
13 1:39
Sonata in B flat, for clarinet and piano
14 6:20
15 3:16
16 6:50
17 3:39
Sonatina in G minor, for clarinet and piano, Op. 29
18 2:52
19 2:43
20 2:25
blue highlight denotes track pick