XLNT MUSIC


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JAMES COHN
"OF MUSKRATS AND BUTTERFLIES

Mirian Conti, piano


Program

Miniatures
Piano Sonata No. 2
Piano Sonata No. 5
Concerto for Piano & Orchestra

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JON MANASSE
PLAYS 3 CLARINET CONCERTOS

Jon Manasse, clarinet
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Kirk Trevor, Director


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Program

W. A. Mozart Concerto in A for Clarinet and Orchestra, K. 622
Carl Nielsen Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 57
Aaron Copland - Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra, with Harp and Piano

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JAMES COHN:
THE MT. GRETNA SUITE

Leonardo Trio,
Quintet of the Americas,
XLNT Sinfonietta



For a review, see ClassicsToday.com. Also, see MusicWeb U.K.
Program

Concerto Da Camera, Op. 60
Quintet No. 2 for Winds
Serenade for Flute, Violin & Cello
Trio for Piano, Violin & Cello
Mount Gretna Suite, Op. 69

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JON MANASSE:
PLAYS CLARINET MUSIC FROM 3 CENTURIES

Jon Manasse, clarinet
with the Shanghai Quartet
and XLNT Sinfonietta

Program

Mozart Quintet for Clarinet and Strings
Spohr Fantasy and Variations
Gershwin Three Piano Preludes
Cohn Concerto for Clarinet & String Orch.



For a review, see MusicWeb U.K.
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A CONCERT OF PIANO TRIOS
The Leonardo Trio

Program

Bedrich Smetana Trio in G Minor, Op. 15
Bohuslav Martinu Trio
Dmitri Shostakovich Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 67



For a review, see ClassicsToday.com.

The Critics Say:
FANFARE
"The Leonardo Trio's debut album is impressive."


THE STRAD
"The Leonardo gives full-blooded and highly musical performances. The wonderful Czech rhythms of the Smetana are beautifully sprung (and) the very different demands of Martinu and Shostakovich are equally well met."


AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"Martinu's (work) blossoms under this high-velocity, faintly hard-bitten consideration, the best I've heard on record in decades."


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WEBER:
THE COMPLETE CLARINET MUSIC, VOL. 1

Jon Manasse, clarinet,
Samuel Sanders, piano,
Manhattan String Quartet

Program

Quintet for Clarinet & Op. 34
Grand Duo Concertant Op.48


The Critics Say:
T.Y., MORSE PRESS-NEWS, Dec. 1, 1989
"Weber wrote a number of showpieces for clarinet, most of them inspired by Heinrich Baermann, one of the greatest of clarinet virtuosi. ... The sound on this recording is absolutely flawless, natural and lifelike. Clarinet fans will want to own at least one recording of this music, and this recording is the one."


Stephen R. Max, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Jan/Feb 1990
"This first installment of the complete clarinet music of Carl Maria von Weber is a winner in every regard. The most interesting piece is the quintet, which is not a genuine chamber-music work but a mini-concerto. It is a razzle-dazzle affair, short on profundity but long on entertainment. ... The sound is fine.. XLNT Music lives up to its name with this release."


James H. North, FANFARE, Sept/Oct 1989
"Weber's clarinet quintet might better be called 'Showtime for Clarinet'; it has little to do with chamber music. It is a delightful show-stopper for the soloist, but the strings contribute no more than the barest accompaniment. ... This new label provides a clean honest recording, good (liner) notes (and) identification of the instruments used. Fine (production) values, fine value."


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WEBER:
THE COMPLETE CLARINET MUSIC, VOL. 2

Jon Manasse, clarinet,
Brooklyn Philharmonic,
Lukas Foss, Conductor

Program

Concertino, Op. 26
Concerto No. 1 in f Op. 73
Concerto No. 2 in Eb Op. 74


The Critics Say:
Carl Bauman, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Mar/Apr 1990
"... full-blooded and brilliant ... You'll not go wrong with this disc; it equals or supersedes all others."


Bradley A. Wong, THE CLARINET, Nov/Dec 1990
"Volume I was reviewed in The Clarinet (Vol. 17/2) and was highly recommended. I'm happy to say that this CD recording is equally impressive. ... Very highly recommended."


James H. North, FANFARE, Mar/Apr 1990
"... As in (Weber Clarinet Music) Vol. I, Jon Manasse is brilliant. He soars over every difficulty crisply and smoothly, making it all sound so easy. ... Jon Manasse's playing disarms all criticism."


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QUINTET OF THE AMERICAS: SOUVENIRS
Program

Overture to "Candide"
Tonada
Apanhei-Te Cavaquinho
Summertime
La Cumparista
Strutting Butterflies
Bunde Tolimense
Blues
The Ragtime Dance
Summer Music

A Pombinha Voou
Os Pombinhos
The Soul
Semblanzas
Goin' Home
Souvenir de Porto Rico
Muskrat Rumble
The Carolina Shout
Shenandoah
Tournament Galop


The Critics Say:
AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"Here we are treated to music as diverse as the many cultures in the Western Hemisphere. Spontaneity is apparent at every turn in these witty, inventive and colorful readings, (and) XLNT has recorded this gem of a release in mellow and intimate acoustics."


INTUNE
"Most selections are folk settings, but over half will probably be unfamiliar music, the Latin American items brimming with high spirits and rhythmic vitality. The Quintet of the Americas is a sensation. Their virtuosity, balances, articulation and intonation mark them as one of the world's top wind quintets. I have never heard finer playing."


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JAMES COHN:
SONATAS AND CHAMBER MUSIC

Marina Piccinini, flute,
Matthew Dine, oboe,
Jon Manasse, clarinet,
Michael Finn, bassoon,
Joel Tarpley, horn,
Nami Akamatsu, double bass,
Seann Alderking, piano

Program

Little Overture for Wind Quartet Op. 59
Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano Op. 56
Sonata Romantica Op. 18
Quintet for Winds Op. 36-b
Sonata Robusta Op. 55
Sonata For Flue and Piano Op. 52
The Goldfinch Variations Op. 61


The Critics Say:
FANFARE
"James Cohn's music is light and gay yet thoroughly classical; the wind music has something of the spirit of Parisian wind pieces, but with a distinctly American flavor. Chief characteristics are brevity, wit and clarity; Cohn's melodies are charming."


AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"Imagine: here is contemporary music that is easy to listen to and enjoyable. Cohn reminds me of Francaix in his expert writing for wind instruments and for his infectious good humor and high spirits, and of Hindemith for his angular melodies. The players are uniformly excellent."


For another review online, see MusicWeb U.K.

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JAMES COHN:
CONCERTOS AND TONE POEMS

Latvian National Symphony Orchestra
Vakhtang Jordania, Conductor

Program

Homage Op. 31
Concerto for Piano & Orchestra Op. 79
Concerto For Trumpet & Strings Op. 76
Concerto For Concertina & Strings Op. 44
Evocations Op. 75
A Song of the Waters Op. 53


For a review, see ClassicsToday.com. For another review online, see MusicWeb U.K.


The Critics Say:
GRAMOPHONE
"Witty and well-crafted music. Cohn's orchestral music is well-structured, warmly tonal and rich in grace and wit. He also has a way of capturing not only the (solo) instrument in its best light, but in fashioning an expressive forum for the particular instrument and orchestra involved."


AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"His music is tuneful and tonal, often jazzy, and openly intended to please audiences. Everything sits nicely on the instruments and falls easily on the ear. Wim Wakker plays the socks off Cohn's virtuosic (concertina) solo part, and the other soloists — as well as the Latvian orchestra — are excellent. Indeed, pianist Mirian Conti and clarinetist Jon Manasse are simply world-class. Sonics are fine."


CLASSICS TODAY
"The six works on this disc are high on charm and craftsmanship, low on pretense and posturing. All four concerted works offer good tunes and effectively structured movements that unfailingly leave the listener wanting more. The tone poem A Song of the Waters completes this portrait of a composer whose innate modesty of means and basically genial character offers an abundance of lively, listener-friendly entertainment."


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