Fantasia - Martin - Gramophone

An attractive recital from the charismatic Spanish clarinettist Maximiliano Martin (currently principal of the SCO) made the more so by superbly clean, clear articulation, balanced by ravishingly long-breathed lyrical phrasing and the highly sympathetic partnership provided by Inocencio Negrin. Martin plays with the widest range of dynamic: the first of Lutoslawski's Dance Preludes bursts in on the listener with exhilarating point and momentum, and the remaining four are played with great diversity of character and mood. A memorable performance of Debussy's Rapsodie, luminously languorous, soaringly sensuous, is framed by two simpler miniatures of Martin's compatriot Miguel Yust Moreno, each combining a languidly seductive melody with a brilliant cadenza. The Poulenc Sonata is piquantly witty; Nielsen's early Fantasy Piece is more simplistic, a song-without-words with a lively brief finale; and the programme ends with an entertaining display piece, full of virtuosity, as Antonio Romero y Andia tests his soloist with plentiful bravura. The recording is exceptionally live and immediate, so that the players are virtually at the end of one's room.

06 November 2006