Florent Héau / Patrick Zygmanowski

Reger: Sonates pour Clarinette et Piano

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Performed by clarinetist Florent Heau and pianist Patrick Zygmanowski and recorded at the 2002 Printemps des arts de Monaco festival, Max Reger's clarinet sonatas sound as tender, as lovely, and as lyrical as the Brahms' sonatas they're modeled on. Clarinetist Heau keeps his tone lean and incisive and his rhythms light and dancing. Pianist Zygmanowski's sonorities are clean, his lines clear, and his use of the sustain pedal is judicious. Together they keep Reger's textures lucid, his rhetoric restrained, and his emotions near, but not on, the surface. Although the sonatas are obviously the main attraction here, the album also includes Heau's and Zygmanowski's expressive performance of Albumblatt for clarinet and piano, a work of simple beauty that concludes the disc. Though recorded live, the digital sound here is transparent yet atmospheric.

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