Over the years, the subject of national schools of woodwind playing has been a contentious issue with conductors, aficionados and musicians alike, jibing and bickering at great lengths. In general, these arguments conclude with their opting for either the dark and straight pipelike sound of the German, or the light, somewhat vibrant and nasal sound of the French musician. In the case of the clarinet the two types are the German Öehler key system instrument with its short thick reed bound to the mouthpiece with cord and the French Böehm system clarinet with its longer and thinner reed clamped down with a metal strap. These are basically the only two in use world-wide today. Despite the strengths of these two, many schools of clarinet playing have evolved within the seclusion of other countries. They have all opted for one of the two types of instrument mentioned earlier, or developed a hybrid, with subtle deviations of its inner dimensions to allow particular tonal traits to predominate, aided with a different embouchure. The most notable lie in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Vienna, England, Israel and Italy. Successful exponents of any school, whether they use vibrato or not, make a well-centred tone at all dynamic levels and have the ability to both float a gentle legato tune and execute a precise and exciting staccato passage without distorting the timbre or drifting out of tune.
‘…a disc of great historical interest, and a fitting tribute to an artist well worth remembering.’ INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW