Michael Collins is one of our most versatile clarinetists, possessing a dazzling virtuosity and sensitive musicianship that have made him the favourite of conductors, composers, and audiences throughout the world. Now an exclusive Chandos artist, Collins is embarking on a series of recordings designed to display the extraordinarily wide range of music written for his instrument. The present programme comprises a varied repertoire, concentrating generally (though not exclusively) on its more extrovert virtuoso aspects and offering some breathtaking show-stoppers. Well-known works such as Rachmaninoff's haunting Vocalise contrast with the sunny brilliance of Giampieri's Carnival of Venice, and the playful, inventive French items by Milhaud and Messager provide a further contrast in mood and colour.
'...I find much to enjoy in Collin's playing here. His command of the clarinet is superb, his tine is pure and supple ...He is, moreover, a musician of impeccable taste. Pianist Lane is top-notch as always...' Fanfare
'...what first strikes you about Michael Collin's playing is its supreme naturalness. The next thing is the artistry that infuses it. The third thing is the wide range of expression he draws from the instrument. Piers Lane is his equal, vital partner.' The Sunday Times
Editor's Choice: 'Brilliant playing in every sense: the musical equivalent of a tray of bonbons crafted by Gordon Ramsay and a must for any clarinet fan.' Classic FM Magazine
'Virtuosity is at the heart of this appealing, exhilarating disc.' Performance / Recording BBC Music Magazine
'A clarinet collection demonstrates these players' joy in virtuosity...the recording is outstandingly vivid with perfect balance between the instruments. What makes the disc more consistently enjoyable than many such offerings is the pure joy in virtuosity revealed in every item.' Gramophone
'...This recital, with pianist Piers Lane, alternately delights and charms.' Financial Times
IRR Outstanding: ‘...It is difficult to imagine a finer performance than that given here. I enjoyed this disc immensely and give it my strongest recommendation.' International Record Review