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Clarinet Trio & Cello Sons 1 & 2 (Brahms / Collins / Watkins / Brown) based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
These are somewhat cool readings of these Brahms masterworks. Messrs. Watkins, Collins and Brown stress the contemplative, lyrical aspects of the composer’s writing. Nothing is forced or hyperbolic. While this is a perfectly valid approach, those seeking more drama and momentum may want to look elsewhere. Nonetheless, the collective artistry displayed here offsets any perceived shortcomings as does the natural Chandos engineering. The liner notes are particularly well done.
Acceptable chamber music from Collins, Watkins, and Brown This recording consists of Brahm’s Cello Sonatas No’s 1 and 2, bookending his well known Clarinet Trio. Cello Sonata No 1 (Op. 38) begins the disc, and Mr. Watkins cello playing is warm and expressive, particularly in the second movement. Ian Brown’s piano accompanies, but it seems somehow disconnected – it is played well, but there doesn’t seem to be the synergy between the two instrumentalists that would really make this piece stand out. The Clarinet Trio (Op. 114), fares much better, as the second movement really brings out the best amidst the performers, each feeding off the other and working together to bring just the right emotional undertone to the listener. This is perfect music to listen to on a rainy evening, and Mr. Collins clarinet is wonderful tonic after a long week. The third movement is similarly satisfying, the interplay between the soloists seeming effortless and sensitive. Cello Sonata No. 2 is much the same as the first. It is well played, but there is an emotional component that is missing, which is a real shame because this particular sonata is incredibly moving when all of the musical elements come together. But it falls inexplicably short in a difficult to quantify way. This CD was a bit of a mixed bag for me. The recording quality is wonderful, and the several pages of liner notes are informative. But (and perhaps I am being too picky here, having heard incredible Brahms performed 8 feet in front of me) with the exception of the Clarinet Trio there is something lacking. Had I not heard better in person, I would have been very pleased with this recording – as it is, it is acceptable but not heart-stopping.