Julius Rietz clarinet concerto

Julius Rietz isn’t well known as a composer. He was an excellent conductor, he succeeded Mendelssohn in several of his positions. He also edited a lot of Mendelssohn’s works for publication. However, he wrote a masterpiece for us clarinet players. It’s his concerto op.29 in G minor. The first movement is quite virtuosic, but in Read More …

The Sirba Octet

When classical musicians decide to play klezmer music, it’s always a risky challenge. But with the Sirba Octet, it’s just a great pleasure for us listeners! These 8 musicians from the “Orchestre de Paris” are perfectly aware of their classical background, and they don’t pretend to play “pure” klezmer music. The octet mixes the traditions Read More …

A piece to play on April Fool’s Day – Carmen Strips

A thread on the Facebook group of the International Clarinet Association about an April Fool’s concert made me remember a post I wrote in french almost a year ago. I think it’s time for me to  translate it! Carmen Strips is a humoristic fantasy piece, with an obligatory ‘undressing’ of the clarinet. The piece is Read More …

Watchdog – debut album released!

Do you remember Watchdog? I told you about this duo a few days ago. They were about to release their debut album, “You’re Welcome”. Well, it has been released since yesterday. I listened to it on line via bandcamp, and it’s a really great album. Especially for clarinet lovers! The various combinations of the instruments Read More …

How do musical instruments work?

Why does a cylindrical tube play a lower note than a conical tube of the same length? Why is it difficult to play the lowest notes on the saxophone softly? What is the influence of the wall material on wind instruments? An oboe goes to the octave, a clarinet goes to the fifth. But why? Read More …

Martin Fröst – Roots

In a galaxy far far away… is Martin Fröst new album, Roots. His quest to “create new programmes which move beyond traditional concert formats” lead him to the roots of classical music, and to his own roots, too. Mission accomplished. Brilliantly. It’s like you were visiting sort of a museum, with alive, animated artworks. You Read More …

Watchdog – You’re Welcome

After Emilien Véret, Ismail Lumanovski & Inspector Gadje and Klarthe Quintet, all in various styles, here’s another great find! Watchdog’s debut album, “You’re welcome”, has nothing to do with any of the other albums I discovered lately, but it’s definitely worth listening. Watchdog is a duo, with Anne Quillier (piano, Fender Rhodes, Moog) and Pierre Read More …

Klarthe Quintet – French Touch

Designed around four French composers of the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, “French Touch” is the debut album of Klarthe Quintet. It was released in October 2015 and if you were looking for a present for a lover of wind instruments, you just found it! Clement Dufour (flute), Marc Lachat (oboe), Julien Chabod (clarinet), Guillaume Bidar Read More …

Ismail Lumanovski & Inspector Gadje

Remember Ismail Lumanovski? I discovered him last spring in a video where he played with the “New York Gypsy All Star” balkanic music with amazing energy. He is now in a new partnership with “Inspector Gadje” Brass Band (what a joke!). A series of concerts in the next few days in L.A. and the recording Read More …

“Clarinettes urbaines”

Here it is! Émilien Véret’s debut album “Clarinettes urbaines” is now available: iTunes amazon deezer The videos of “Quartier Est” and “La ville” made me think that the whole album would be interesting, as I said in this post. And I wasn’t wrong! But the incredible variety of styles of the album was something I Read More …

Guillaume Connesson: Disco-Toccata

French composer Guillaume Connesson wrote his “Disco-Toccata” in one morning in 1994. This piece is written for clarinet and cello, and is influenced by disco music: strong beat and specific melodic formulas. The amazing energy of the piece comes from the fast tempo, which gave Guillaume Connesson the idea of the baroque toccata. You can Read More …

Emilien Veret “Clarinettes urbaines”

Do you know Emilien Veret? No? Let me introduce him: he is a french clarinetist in Paris, and has a great project: “Clarinettes urbaines”, which means “urban clarinets” in French (easy, isn’t it?) He plays the Bb clarinet and the bass clarinet, and also beatboxes! He uses loop pedals to create his jazz-world-electro-classical-and-many-other-music-styles-inspired compositions and Read More …

“Crossing the break” T-shirt

When you learn playing the clarinet, crossing the break is a big step! Because between A and B, or Bb and B, you’ll need to move almost all your fingers. Maybe a little joke could make it easier? Let’s transpose Neil Armstrong quote “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” Read More …

Ismail Lumanovksi, a great clarinet player!

I just discovered Ismail Lumanovski a few days ago, through a video a friend of mine shared on facebook: I was so enthusiast that I spent half a day searching all I could find about this fabulous clarinetist, yet pretty unknown here in France… Is he well known in the United States? Let me know Read More …