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Fantasia - Martin - BBC Music Magazine

04 September 2006
BBC Music Magazine
Anthony Burton
4 Stars

The principal clarinettist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Maximiliano Martin, has an attractive tone, reliable intonation and nimble technique. All that's missing here, recorded with fidelity, is an incisive, aggressive edge. Without it, the two slow numbers among Lutoslawski's five Dance Preludes comes off better than the fast movements with which they alternate, the withdrawn opening of Debussy's Rapsodie is more appealing than its explosive end, and the melancholy pianissimo of Poulenc's Sonata make a greater impression then the strident fortissimos. Despite pianist Inocencio Negrin's excellent contribution, these repertoire works are not completely successful. However, for clarinet buffs there's an early Fantasia by Nielsen; two pieces by the 20th-century clarinet virtuoso and teacher Miguel Yuste Moreno, a Spanish-flavoured 'Picturesque Caprice' and a tuneful 'Melodic Study'; and a 19th-century fantasy on Donizetti by an earlier Spanish clarinettist, Antonio Romero y Andia. Valuable contributions to a recital that's attractively varied - just a bit too mellifluous.

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