We popped over to Belgium to check out classical music's newest concert hall.
The debut album from the remarkable Austrian clarinettist, featuring concertos by Copland, Spohr and Cimarosa.
'Portraits – The Clarinet Album' is the debut recording from the brilliant young Austrian clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer. He's the first ever solo clarinettist to sing an exclusive agreement with Deutsche Grammophon's legendary Yellow Label - and work as a model at the same time!
The repertoire on this album takes us from the early-Romantic intensity of Louis Spohr's first clarinet concerto to the jazz idioms of Aaron Copland's own clarinet concerto. Cimarosa's Oboe Concerto in C - arranged for clarinet by Arthur Benjamin - is also included along with an arrangement of Debussy's popular The Girl with the Flaxen Hair. George Gershwin's Three Preludes, originally composed for piano, and a Berceuse by the American composer Amy Beach, originally a violin piece, complete a beautifully performed programme.
The clarinettist has said of this recording: “This album poses the challenge of jumping between different styles and ways of playing, but at the same time I set a high priority on maintaining my personal interpretation and sound.”
As in his live performances, Ottensamer's clarinet on this recording is a dark and beautifully warm instrument, played with soulful depth.