Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

The Pied Piper of the Opera
Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868)

Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra
(based on La Donna del Lago)
Ivar HALLSTRÖM (1826-1901)

"Spinn, spin, gyllne sländan min! Spin, spin my golden distaff"
Ingeborg’s aria from Den Bergtagna – The Bride of the Mountain King
Franz DANZI (1763-1826)
Phäntasie uber "Là ci darem la mano" from Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)

"Ach, Ich fuhl’s" Pamina’s aria from Die Zauberflöte
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
"Leise, leise fromme Weise" Agathe’s aria from Der Freischütz
Donato LOVREGLIO (1841-1907)
Fantasia di Concerto su motivi de La Traviata di G. Verdi op.45
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
"Printemps qui commence" Delilah’s aria from Samson et Dalila
Wilfried HILLER (b.1941)
Am Calvarienberg No.3 from Hamelin – 3 Klangbilder aus der Oper Der Rattenfänger
Martin Fröst, clarinet
Singapore Symphony Orchestra/Lan Shui
Rec. September 1999, Victoria Concert Hall, Singapore. DDD
BIS CD-301053 S [62.32]

This disc takes its name from ‘Der Rattenfänger: Ein Hamelner Totentanz,’ by the contemporary German composer Wilfried Hiller, in which the young Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst played the title role at Hildesheim Opera in 1994. For this performance Fröst received an excellent press and was named ‘Interpreter of the Year’ by Opernwelt Yearbook. To judge by this recording, which is part of the bargain-priced BIS 30th Anniversary Edition, this early praise was richly deserved.

Nine years on from his Hildesheim success, Martin Fröst has established himself as a significant musician. Having become the youngest instrumentalist ever to win first prize at the Nordic Soloist Biennale in 1991 and then taking the title role in Hiller’s ‘Pied Piper’ he has gathered many other honours including first prizes in the CIEM Geneva Competition, the Nippon Music Awards and an AKZO Nobel Music Award. This year he won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust award and was chosen as a BBC New Generation artist.

Fröst’s command of his instrument is certainly impressive and here he offers a fine selection of operatic arias arranged for clarinet and orchestra. His ability bring out the subtleties of the music cannot be rated too highly.

Most of the pieces on the disc will be familiar to people who listen regularly to music: ‘La ci darem’, ‘Printemps qui commence’ and the pieces from ‘La Traviata’ for instance need no introduction. Some of the other works however, from Rossini’s opera seria ‘La Donna del Lago’ and from the Swedish composer Ivar Hallström’s ‘Den Bergtagna – The Bride of the Mountain King’ may be less well known but are equally appealing. Additionally, the ‘Am Calvarienberg’ excerpt from Hiller’s ‘Der Rattenfänger’ is so pleasingly melodic and so full of atmosphere that it is a considerable incentive to explore more from Hiller, a composer who writes at least half of his music expressly for children and who studied privately for a time under Carl Orff.

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra plays sympathetically under the baton of Lan Shui, the balance between soloist and orchestra is nicely gauged and the recording quality is typical of the high standards customarily offered by BIS.

Perhaps the only question about this disc is whether or not there is any great demand for instrumental versions of vocal music these days. On the strength of these performances though, maybe there should be. This is a delightful disc.

Bill Kenny


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.