Clarinet Pizzazz – Works of BILL DOUGLAS, MONK, GILLESPIE, JOHN WILLIAMS, ELLINGTON, GERSHWIN etc. – Hal & Lynn Fryer, clarinets – Clarinet Artistry

by | Jul 8, 2010 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

Clarinet Pizzazz – BILL DOUGLAS: Suite Cantando for clarinet, bassoon and piano; LOVREGLIO: Fantasia on Themes from Verdi’s “La Traviata;” MONK: Well You Needn’t;  ‘Round Midnight; GILLESPIE: Night in Tunisia; JOHN WILLIAMS: Viktor’s Tale; ELLINGTON: The Single Petal of a Rose; JEAN JEAN: Guisganderie; MENDELSSOHN; Concertpiece in D minor; GRUNDMAN: Bagatelle; GERSHWIN: Summertime; Strike Up the Band – Hal and Lynn Fryer with Kelley Head/New Meridian Clarinet Consort (quartet of clarinets) in final 3 tracks – Clarinet Artistry HF3139 [] ****:

A delightful crossover collection featuring two clarinets and piano, with two more added for some selections. The duo and their pianist perform frequently for college and high school students, and the “pizzazz” signifies the sense of flamboyance and energy in the many different styles of music they present. Bill Douglas is a composer, pianist and bassoonist, and has toured and recorded with Richard Stolzman. His opening suite shows the influence both jazz and world music.  Douglas also arranged the nice interpretation of Gillespie’s classic Night in Tunisia. The John Williams piece is from the Tom Hank’s film Terminal.  The Ellington selection is in the lovely romantic style of Lotus Blossom and was first heard with baritone sax/bass clarinet virtuoso W. Scott Ragsdale. The Mendelssohn Concertpiece was originally for clarinet, basset horn and piano and is here transcribed for the two clarinets and piano.

Fellow clarinetists Geoffrey Flolo and Wendi Harton join the Fryers for the New Meridian Clarinet Consort quartet. Bagatelle is a fun little piece by a leading composer of band works and arranger of Bernstein and Copland pieces.  The two closing Gershwin selections were transcribed by Art Marshall and Jack Bullock respectively. The first is from Porgy and Bess and the second from Gershwin’s 1927 musical  of the same name. All four clarinetists are first rate and the sonics are excellent.

 – John Sunier

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