52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

purchase through CCNow

Phyllis TATE (1911-1987)
Sonata for clarinet and cello (1947)
Air and Variations for violin, clarinet and piano (1957)
Three pieces for solo clarinet (1980)
Karel HUSA (b 1921)

Évocations de Slovaquie for clarinet, viola and cello
Ingolf DAHL (1912-1970)

Concerto a Tré for clarinet, violin and cello (1947)
Lee Carroll (clarinet)
Roy Christensen (cello)
Christian Teal (violin)
Rebecca Culnan (violin)
Craig Nies (piano)
Virginia Christensen (viola)
Recorded (? 1989)
GASPARO GSCD 330 [77.01]


The bulk of this enterprising disc is given over to Phyllis Tate whose 1947 Sonata for Clarinet and Cello is the most substantial work here. In four movements this slightly unusual combination proves highly effective as a means of conveying those pensive asymmetries that stud the slow opening movement. The melancholy implicit in the writing is dispelled by the perky martial drama of the Vivo before the renewed depth of the Sarabande. This is suffused with keening exchanges between the two instruments and, although they gather momentum, one or other of the protagonists remains in a state of withdrawal throughout. After this Tate strikes a note of colour and verve with a "scary movie" theme full of menacing ostinati – and then we’re off on a jaunty waltz with its admixture of Prokofiev-like strut.

Her Air and Variations dates from a decade later. There’s some soaring lyricism for the clarinet in the Aubade-like First Variation and another pretty waltz in the succeeding variation (in which the violin is slightly too backwardly balanced). But all the movements of this work are immediately attractive, from the Serenade to the Fourth Variation with its flighty violin and clarinet exchanges and rather more serious march section. The Three Pieces were written for the 1980 National Clarinet Competition for Young People and though short they are deft and characterful studies, taxing to play but rewarding I should think – and enjoyable.

Karel Husa’s Évocations de Slovaquie is undated here but presumably was written during his stay in Paris between the years 1946 and 1954. The Mountains is the name of the first movement – not necessarily the Tatras though the complex swirling momentum does evoke energised excitement. Night, the slow movement, is by absolute contrast inward and intense, austere and rapt and splendidly sustained. The Dance is the finale – opening with alternatingly stern and driving industry propelled wither by the string pizzicati or by the clarinet – the finish is a real triumphant flourish.

Ingolf Dahl, German born, is the only one of the trio of composers here who can be relatively accurately analysed stylistically. He was firmly in the neo-classical tradition, a fine interpreter of Stravinsky and his Concerto a Tré shows him in the best possible light. It’s idiomatically written, spruce in profile, with especially fine violin writing. It’s also humorous and eventfully lively – with an essentially open-air and warm-hearted profile.

Performances are excellent with Lee Carroll Levine bearing her responsibilities as clarinettist with unflinching insight. A black mark to the American booklet writer - if Prague is in the Balkans then New York is the capital of Canada. Otherwise an enthusiastic welcome.

Jonathan Woolf


MusicWeb offers the entire Gasparo catalogue


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.