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Penderecki: Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano; Clarinet Quartet; Three Miniatures for Clarinet and Piano; Divertimento for Solo Cello; Prelude for Solo Clarinet.

Penderecki: Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano; Clarinet Quartet; Three Miniatures for Clarinet and Piano; Divertimento for Solo Cello; Prelude for Solo Clarinet Michel Lethiec, clarinet/Regis Pasquier, violin/Bruno Pasquier, viola/Arto Noras, cello/Markus Maskuniitty, French horn/Juhani Lagerspetz, piano (Naxos 8.557052)

In past issues I have reviewed and recommended several Naxos recordings of the orchestral music of Polish composer Krzystof Penderecki, and now Naxos has released a recording of some of his chamber music. The Sextet sounds something like a miniature Mahler symphony--not imitatively, but in the same musical spirit, and sounding somehow modernized and compressed. The Clarinet Quartet is moody and expressive, with a twisted little (1:29) waltz movement; it is followed in the program by Three Miniatures for Clarinet and Piano, which are brief and delightful.

Providing a break from the sound of the clarinet is the Divertimento for Solo Cello, which are intense and introspective, and then we return to the clarinet for the Prelude for Solo Clarinet, which closes out the program with a sound haunting and spare.

Some may find this music too modern, or too tart, but there are some sweet sounds here, too. If you enjoy the music of composers such as Mahler and Shostakovich, and you enjoy chamber music, then you will find much to appreciate here, especially if you enjoy the sound of the clarinet.
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Publication:Sensible Sound
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Words:232
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