The Clarinotts

The Clarinotts

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The Clarinotts Review

by Blair Sanderson

This debut album on Mercury Classics and Deutsche Grammophon presents some of the virtuoso clarinet repertoire of Ernst Ottensamer and his two sons, Daniel Ottensamer and Andreas Ottensamer, known collectively as the Clarinotts. The family group formed in 2005 as a professional ensemble, and they have toured while also holding key positions with major orchestras, Ernst and Daniel playing with the Vienna Philharmonic, and Andreas performing with the Berlin Philharmonic. For the most part, this album is focused on short pieces in fresh arrangements, backed by the Wiener Virtuosen, that show off the trio's brilliant techniques, not only on the clarinets in B flat and A, but also on the E flat clarinet, bass clarinet, and the basset horn. The most substantial items are Mendelssohn's vibrant Konzertstück No. 1 for clarinet, basset horn, and piano and the instrumental arrangement of the trio from Mozart's Così fan tutte, both of which give the clarinetists fine opportunities for expressive playing. However, for demonstrations of the group's brilliance and flexibility, Rossini's La danza, Bonfá's Manha de Carnaval, and Truan's The Chase are recommended tracks.

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