CHARLES FITTS (b.1931): Clarinet Concerto, EUGENIO TOUSSAINT (1954-2011): Clarinet Concerto, EDUARD ALONSO-CRESPO (b.1956): Clarinet Concerto, Op. 15.
Catalogue Number: 11P011
Reference: JBCC 217
Description: Toussaint's concerto begins with a movement that epitomizes the 'lyrical' program of this CD, a leisurely skein of gentle melodies. An easy-going scherzo-like neoclassical intermezzo follows, then the finale opens with 'big band' gestures, the only real suggestion of the composer's jazz background here. The whole piece is thoroughly tonal and very attractive. The Alonso-Crespo has a similar neoclassical elegance and charm, here with a stronger Latin American flavor in characteristic rhythms and much gently lyrical writing for the soloist. The melancholy songlike slow movement is especially emotionally expressive, and the finale has an infectious dancing quality. Fitts' concerto is full of neo-romantic warmth, a lively, humorous opening contrasting with a lushly melodic duet for clarinet and horn in the first movement. There follows a somewhat Sibelian andante and a rondo finale with a wistful mood, ending with a lively, optimistic coda. Eleanor Weingartner (clarinet), Camerata de las Américas; José Luis Castillo.