Reger: Complete Music for Clarinet and Piano

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Composer: Max Reger
Artists: Claudio Conti (clarinet), Roberto Bambace (piano)

Just as Brahms had done, Max Reger wrote sonatas for either clarinet or viola, exploiting their mellow tone-colours and rich, inner-part voicing within autumnal Romantic textures. Indeed, it was hearing the two clarinet sonatas composed by Brahms for his friend Richard Mühlfeld that inspired Reger to take on the genre which was so suited to his highly wrought style.

Though the two Op.49 sonatas follow the Brahmsian model closely, they are also highly distinctive in their pervasive handling of melody and the breadth of their phrasing. If the finale of No.1 shows the composer at his most scintillating – unlikely word for Reger – the second is the more ambitious of the pair, with relaxed outer movements which tend towards melancholy, enclosing Scherzo which glints with offbeat accents and ironic twists of expression, followed by a soulful Larghetto.

The appeal of this beautifully played disc to all enthusiasts for late-Romantic chamber music will be further enhanced by the inclusion of two rarely heard miniatures which testify to the pleasure Reger (like Brahms) took in domestic music-making and the German tradition of Hausmusik: a Tarantella which is far more cheerful than its G minor key would suggest, and a lovely, achingly Brahmsian Albumblatt in E flat major, full of fond remembrance of times past.

00:00:00 Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in A-Flat Major, Op. 49: I. Allegro affanato
00:07:04 Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in A-Flat Major, Op. 49: II. Vivace
00:11:03 Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in A-Flat Major, Op. 49: III. Larghetto
00:14:14 Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in A-Flat Major, Op. 49: IV. Prestissimo assai
00:18:43 Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 49: I. Allegro dolente
00:26:16 Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 49: II. Vivacissimo
00:28:46 Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 49: III. Larghetto
00:32:48 Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 49: IV. Allegro affabile
00:37:54 Clarinet Sonata No. 3 in B-Flat Major, Op. 107: I. Moderato
00:48:37 Clarinet Sonata No. 3 in B-Flat Major, Op. 107: II. Vivace – Adagio – Vivace
00:53:47: Clarinet Sonata No. 3 in B-Flat Major, Op. 107: III. Adagio
00:59:11 Clarinet Sonata No. 3 in B-Flat Major, Op. 107: IV. Allegretto con grazia (Vivace
01:06:18 Albumblatt in E-Flat Major, WoO II/13: I. Andante con moto
01:07:44 Tarantella in G minor: I. Äußerst lebhaft

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