Album review: Dionysis Grammenos Spohr, Nielsen, Debussy: Clarinet Concertos & Rhapsody (Naïve)


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The Independent Culture

In 2008, Dionysis Grammenos became the first wind player ever to be acclaimed European Young Musician of the Year. That it has taken him until now to make his recording debut reflects the limited opportunities for clarinet players rather than his ability, which is ably displayed on clarinet concertos by Louis Spohr and Carl Nielsen. The elegant undulations of Spohr's are negotiated with modest calm, including some beautifully modulated rising trills. Nielsen's final clarinet concerto is notable for its obtrusive snare drum; elsewhere, the unusual Poco adagio section features a bizarre intrusion of urban bustle, which perhaps reflects the influence of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue from four years earlier.

Download: Concerto for Clarinet & Orchestra No 4