Solo Alone And More presents young clarinet virtuoso Jonas Frølund in an hour-long musical journey of works showcasing the instrument beloved and ennobled by composers since Mozart’s time. For this album, Frølund selected and perfected a program of works written within the last 100 years that includes 5 World Premiere Recordings.
When planning this album, Frølund had three goals in mind — to present himself as a musician with a distinctive vision; to present the clarinet “family” from treble to bass, starting with the familiar concert instruments in Bb and A to the alto (basset) and the bass; and, finally, to present all of the above in music written during a century of New Music, spanning from immediately after WW1 to literally a few months before the recordings took place in June 2021.
That is, with one exception. A certain perennially ‘new’ woodwind solo from a mid-19th century German opera that many observers regard as the mother of all Modern Music – Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.
All of the music presented on this album is played on a solo clarinet. With one exception: in the De Profundis by Simon Steen-Andersen, where the soloist multitasks on a number of percussion instruments as well.
Jonas Frolund, Clarinet
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:13:18
|Original Recording Format
|August 11, 2023
Five stars: A brilliant solo recital by Danish clarinetist Jonas Frølund
Solo Alone and More is a recital by the young Danish clarinetist Jonas Frølund. Principal clarinet of the Danish Chamber Orchestra, and co-founder of the V Coloris wind quintet, Frølund’s performances encompass orchestral, concerto, solo, and chamber repertoire.
Solo Alone and More consists entirely of unaccompanied repertoire, encompassing music composed over the past century, with Wagner’s pathbreaking Tristan und Isolde thrown in for good measure. During the course of the recital, Frølund plays soprano clarinets in B-flat and A, a basset clarinet in A, and bass clarinet in B-flat.
There are 5 World Premiere Recordings on the album. Bent Sørensen’s Lontanamente Fragments of a Waltz, Mette Nielsen’s Alone for basset clarinet, and Gunnar Berg’s Pour clarinette seule I receive their initial recordings. The English horn solo from the opening of Act III of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, as played on bass clarinet, is recorded for the first time. Frølund also performs Simon Steen-Andersen’s De Profundis, originally scored for soprano saxophone (and percussion), in its version for bass clarinet.
The featured works span various styles; traditional and more avant-garde techniques, virtuoso passagework, lyrical episodes, etc. In short, Solo Alone and More is a showcase for the gamut of Frølund’s technique and artistry. And he shines throughout.
Frølund is a complete artist, and a virtuoso in every positive sense of that word; one who combines technical mastery with a gorgeous tone, remarkable breath control, and brilliant musicianship. I also must mention Frølund’s exploration of the softest of dynamics, which he plays with rapt beauty, drawing the listener ever closer.
Regardless of the work and its attendant style and demands (including playing various percussion instruments in the Steen-Andersen), Frølund plays with extraordinary facility, and keen attention to the composer’s voice. He is every bit as at home in the mournful song of the Act III Tristan solo as in Poul Ruders’s virtuoso tour-de-force, Tattoo for One. And whether the music is more traditional in conception, or avant-garde, Frølund plays with the utmost commitment.
Solo Alone and More is the work of an inspired, complete artist. Gorgeous, lifelike recorded sound graces this project.
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