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Clarinet Works
Marcel CHYRZYŃSKI (b. 1971)
Three Preludes for clarinet and piano (1990) [4:31]
Quasi Kwazi 1 for clarinet solo (1994/1997) [3:05]
Quasi Kwazi II for clarinet solo (1997) [6:03]
Quasi Kwazi III for clarinet solo (1997) [6:36]
Isang YUN (1917-1995)
Riul for clarinet and piano (1968) [18:05]
Dawid JARZYŃSKI (b.1984)
Partita for clarinet solo (2004-2007) [14:19]
Paul PATTERSON (b.1947)
Conversations for clarinet and piano (1974) [13:05]
Dawid Jarzyński (clarinet)
Anna Czaicka (piano)
rec. Opole Philharmonic Concert Hall, November 2007
DUX 0622 [65:43]



Experience Classicsonline

The presence of a couple of unfamiliar names shouldn’t act as a deterrent; on the contrary it should act as a stimulant. But if the thought of listening to over an hour of unfamiliar clarinet music further weights things in favour of ‘pass’ well allow me to steer you back. This is, on the contrary, a disc with some very attractive and approachable music and where it’s not always immediately attractive and approachable it’s intelligent and thoughtful. It’s a disc that may well get lost in the marketplace and that would be a shame.

Marcel Chyrzński was born in 1971 and studied instrumentation with Penderecki and computer music in America. His Three Preludes were composed when he was at the Szymanowski State Music College in 1990. They’re very brief but immediately likeable. The first is lyrical, capricious and entirely tonal. The second has a clearer eyed lyricism perhaps, and is just as undoctrinaire and warm. The last of the trio starts slowly but takes on a Francophile zip – Poulenc might have liked it.  There are three Quasi Kwazi written variously between 1994 and ’97 for solo clarinet. Once again they plough a wholly approachable furrow. The central panel is a touch crepuscular whilst the last goes through contrasting moods; plenty of trills, flourishes, assertive inner dialogues and a fine exploration of colour.

The Korean composer Isang Yun wrote Riul in rather harrowing circumstances. He had been kidnapped and imprisoned by the South Korean secret police in 1967 and spent around two years in prison. As a result of the serious health problems he suffered he was hospitalised and wrote Riul. International pressure led to his release in 1969. It’s a long, sometimes demanding and gruelling work ranging from plangent expressivity to imitations of the piri – the Koran instrument similar to an oboe. He works from mosaics, small incidents that interact and shed refractive thematic light on each other. There are clarinet soliloquies of haunting compression as well as a corresponding mobility of utterance. One feels the clarinet is the authorial voice singing from the depths but however deep those depths were or became this is no dirge.

Clarinettist Dawid Jarzyński proves a masterful guide and he also contributes a composition of his own. Still young, he wrote Partita between 2004 – when he was twenty – and 2007. In five compact movements this is a very satisfactory appropriation of semi-folkloric and baroque elements – to which it alludes but doesn’t slavishly imitate. Written for solo clarinet it therefore affords the soloist opportunities to evoke a fantasia, cadential passages, a sarabande and a gigue amongst others. Finally there is Paul Patterson’s Conversations, written in 1974. Terse but not brittle this is lit with Francophile touches. The slow movement enshrines a reflective interior dialogue, full of suggestive colour and more sombre moments for the clarinet. The finale lets down its hair in unbridled, delightful fashion. Think; Milhaud, Bernstein, Martinů. There are contrasts galore in this vital and imaginative work that builds up and releases tension admirably and that embodies its title splendidly.

This is an eager, intelligently programmed recital. It offers plenty of attractive music, plumbs depths, alludes historically and comes up with the goods in terms of performances. Trilingual notes – Polish, English, German – and a fine recording seal the deal.

Jonathan Woolf


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