Avie’s association with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has produced the holiday favourite Hansel and Gretel (AV 0050). In this release the orchestra’s principal clarinettist, Todd Levy, steps out of the ensemble and into the spotlight with some of the most appealing romantic music for his instrument: Brahms’ two lyrically effortless Clarinet Sonatas, Schumann’s Fantasiestücke – the only work he composed expressly for clarinet – and Three Romances, an 1849 Christmas present for his wife Clara. This is Todd’s solo debut disc, but his soulful timbre is not new to afficianados. He appears on two Grammy-winning recordings, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Shadow Dances-Stravinsky Miniatures (1991) and Renee Fleming’s Bel Canto (2003). He also contributed the opening clarinet flourish to the 1999 recording of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Eos Orchestra on the Classic fM label, which was given a coveted rosette by the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs.
"...Most warmly recommended."