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The Scottish Chamber Orchestra section principals, Maximilano Martín (clarinet), Peter Whelan (bassoon) and Alec Frank-Gemmill (horn), dazzle in Weber's virtuosic and thrilling concertos.
Originally released in 2012, Weber: Wind Concertos has been re-issued as part of Linn's ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label's award-winning catalogue.
The multi-award-winning Scottish Chamber Orchestra returns with Weber Wind Concertos, the sixteenth album in its celebrated series with Linn. This recording gives the internationally-acclaimed principal musicians a chance to dazzle in Weber's virtuosic and thrilling concertos. Alexander Janiczek leads Maximilano Martín (clarinet), Peter Whelan (bassoon) and Alec Frank-Gemmill (horn) in a thrilling programme by the German composer Carl Maria von Weber.
The ‘Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor' and ‘Concertino for Clarinet & Orchestra in C minor / E-flat Major' were composed at a pivotal time in the instrument's development. A new style of playing which was soft, full and rich in tone inspired several composers to write for the instrument, whilst inspiring Weber to write what would become one of the cornerstone's of the clarinet repertoire. Clarinettist Maximiliano Martín was praised for his performance of Weber on 2009's Vibraciones del Alma with The Herald admiring his ‘liquid virtuosity, which flows like oil'.
Weber's background as an opera composer is apparent in the entertaining and theatrical ‘Bassoon Concerto in F Major'. As Peter Whelan commented: ‘It's terrific fun to play because Weber writes for the bassoon as though it were a tenor in an opera - so you get to play lots of different characters...from jilted lover to comic clown'. For this performance Peter has reconstructed a version of the 1822 score rather than employing the commonly used 1865 version.
With a preponderance of chromatic pitches and the requirement of multiphonic chords, the virtuosic ‘Horn Concertino in E minor' is widely-regarded as an extremely demanding work for soloists. Alec Frank-Gemmill commented: ‘Weber's clever combination of tunefulness with crazy special effects is a winner and was also unprecedented at the time'. In a unique twist Aleccombines these interesting features with memories of melodies heard earlier in the piece to perform his own version of the cadenza.
‘Martín's playing has the easy virtuosity that only top class musicians can achieve.' Hi-Fi Choice
‘Bassoonist Peter Whelan combines agility with lyricism and laid-back grace.' Gramophone
‘Played with enormous technical skill and emotional expressiveness by Alec Frank-Gemmill.' Music-Web International
‘ It was a no-holds-barred approach from Janiczek, leading to an exhilarating result, infused with bright, bold radiance.' The Scotsman