Fantasia - Martin - The Herald

A splendid new disc from the SCO's peerless principal clarinettist with the unmistakeably creamy tone and effortlessly fluid technique. With superbly subtle accompaniment by pianist Inocencio Negrin in scintillating accounts of Poulenc's Clarinet Sonata and Lutoslawski's dazzling Dance Preludes, this is for conoisseurs of tasteful clarinet playing. And when Martin moves into the dreamy, evocative world of Debussy's great Premiere Rhapsodie, he is in a class of his own. His playing of this much underrated work confirms its status as a masterpiece. There are fascinating novelties, too, in the little-known pieces by Miguel Yuste Moreno and Antonio Romero y Andia. Only Carl Nielsen's Fantasy proves to be a disappointingly routine piece. Otherwise, a collection to savour.

19 August 2006