‘The Romantic Clarinet’ features performances by clarinettist Paul Dean and long-time collaborator pianist Stephen Emmerson, two of Australia’s most poetic instrumental soloists. The profundity of Paul Dean’s musical expression coupled with the magnitude and breadth of his instrumental palette make him a worthy interpreter of Brahms’ tumultuous Clarinet Sonatas.
The emotional turmoil and complexity inherent in these pieces paint a fascinating picture of Brahms’ emotional state as he approached the end of his life. In them Brahms fulminates and rages against the dying of the light; at his waning vitality, yet in turn these sonatas offer up tender episodes, finely spun passages seeming to portray a melancholic acceptance of mortality.
Dean offers a simpler realization in transcriptions of three songs from Brahms’ Op. 57 Lieder und Gesänge revelling in the unparalleled sensual beauty of his tone and phrase in these affecting songs. Also included on the disc is the enchanting Drei Fantasiestücke, composed by Brahms’ great friend Robert Schumann.
Paul Dean, as Artistic Director of the Australian National Academy of Music, the country’s peak music institution, is also the trusted mentor to the emerging generation of Australian musical talent. At the Queensland Conservatorium Stephen Emmerson teaches a range of courses in music literature as well as piano, chamber music and performance practice.
Together with Paul’s brother, the viola player (and composer) Brett Dean, the pair have previously recorded Mozart trios for Melba (MR301121), and Paul Dean has also recorded Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with The Queensland Orchestra and Guillaume Tourniaire (MR301122).
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.