Out now: Portuguese clarinettist Rui Travasso turned the experience of isolation into something positive with his Letters from Quarantine, a lockdown recording of solo clarinet music.
As Rui Travasso puts it: “This album was recorded entirely in my house during the confinement caused by COVID-19. It is, perhaps inevitably, a solo album because so much of life during a pandemic is conducted in isolation, without company(...) The situation is analogous with being unjustly imprisoned and writing letters to those on the outside.”
The album features a range of relatively recent repertoire. French composer Henri Tomasi, a finely-crafted Sonata for Clarinet Solo by Dutch composer Rudolf Escher, the apparently effortless Monolog No. 3 by Swedish composer Erland von Koch, Gordon Jacob’s Five Pieces for Solo Clarinet and contemporary Hungarian composer Béla Kóvacs from which we hear the dazzling Hommage à M. Falla.
Other contemporary works include the chant-based Antiphona V, ‘Ave Maria’ by Norwegian composer Henrik Ødegaard and the intricate Sonatina by Portuguese composer Sérgio Azevedo. The Italian Giovanni Mattaliano's Zeta World is the perfect conclusion to a recital of solo clarinet music.
A succinct piece of breathtaking technique and irresistible good humour.