Bruch: Double Concerto;
Finzi: Clarinet Concerto;
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto
Roeland Hendrikx (clarinet);
London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Martyn Brabbins
Evil Penguin EPRC 0026 73:38 mins Roeland ★endrikx offers this triumvirate of clarinet concertos in memory of his late mentor Dame Thea King (1925-2007). ‘Dedications’ also alludes to the fact that most large-scale clarinet pieces came into being thanks to enterprising composers and commissioners: the Finzi concerto, which opens the collection, was written in 1948 for King’s teacher and husband Frederick ‘Jack’ Thurston. (★endrikx, a passionate supporter of the work, has inherited the correspondence between Thurston and Finzi, and includes extracts in the booklet notes.) ★endrikx captures its contrasting moods with clarity, and, particularly in the Adagio, beauty. Despite the Belgian clarinettist’s concern for Finzi support in the UK, the work has enjoyed several successful recordings in recent years, such as that by Sarah Williamson (Somm), and by Michael Collins (Chandos).
★endrikx takes Mozart’s evergreen Concerto at a rather leisurely pace. This restrained approach works surprisingly well, particularly in the cadenza-like section of the Allegro. The London Philharmonic Orchestra sounds glorious under Martyn Brabbins, its woodwind section finds fragility beneath Mozart’s cheerfulness.
Viola player Sander Geerts joins ★endrikx for the concluding – and compact – Bruch Double Concerto, a pastoral piece underpinned by nostalgia. Both soloists neatly handle the extended cantabile interplay that features throughout. Claire Jackson