Graham Vinall: B flat and A clarinet
Philip Turbett: Bassoon and B flat clarinet
Trevor Barlow: B flat clarinet
Rodney Smith: B flat clarinet, bass clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone
Although a relative late-comer to the family of orchestral woodwind, the clarinet can lay claim to being the most colourful. Unique in its acoustical properties, it is almost three instruments in one: the low register (the 'chalumeau') with its woody and hollow tone, the clear crystalline middle register and the brilliant upper register.
Indeed the modern clarinet is a far cry from its raucous ancestors - the many types of folk instruments which share the same sound production of a vibrating piece of cane connected to a cylindrical tube - and, as this disc shows, the different instruments in the quartet give a wide variety of sound suitable for many different types and styles of music.
The music on this disc extends from the eighteenth century to the present day, and though largely centred on the clarinet quartet, it also incorporates the bassoon and various saxophones, to enhance further the range of instrumental colours and textures available.
1 - 4 Franz Danzi (arr. Vinall): Quartet, Op.40 No.3 in B flat major
5 - 8 Stephen Dodgson: Bagatelles
9 - 11 Elliott Carter: Canonic Suite
12 Alan Bullard: Overtones
13 Joseph Horovitz: Variations on a theme of Paganini
14 - 15 Stan Tracey: Improvisation 1 and 2
16 - 19 arr. Chris Burn: Benny Goodman Suite