I must admit, clarinet is not favourite instument.
But something changed that yesterday.
We played a concert with the Amstel Quartet yesterday, together with clarinettist Lars Wouters. We played the Weber clarinet Quintet (arr. By us for four saxes and clarinet), Wilson, where the Moorcocks Crow, Atlantica (without clarinet), Lars played Berio Sequenza IXb and we closed off with a choral and variation for sax 4tet and clarinet.
Lars played a wonderfull Berio, agile, smooth, colourful, free, creative and expressive. Maybe the piece is even better suited for clarinet than sax, although I hate to admit it...
The Weber is something completely different than we normally play. And ai have to be honest again. It takes me some effort to appreciate this type of music. But Lars sucked me into it. His playing was playful, rubato and extremely virtuoso. We never play this kind of operatic music. Except for maybe Demersseman and Singelée. So Lars had to help us et through this music and in the end we enjoyed playing it greatly!
We have played 'Where the Moorcocks Crow' by Ian Wilson several times before. The last time with my ex student Stefan de Wijs. The version with clarinet worked much better in my opinion. THe solo sax drowned in the quartet but the clarinet holds up his own. A beautiful piece. We should record this soon, with Lars
Closing off with he Bach was fantastic. i never imagined that the combination of four saxes and clarinet would sound so good!