"... there’s no denying that Collins is a master of his instrument; his technique is faultless... "
Richard A Kaplan - Fanfare - September/October 2013
“…Collins and McHale deserve praise for this recording project, ensuring that these wonderful pieces stay fresh and relevant in the clarinet repertoire. Volume 2 is surely a crowd pleaser. Collins offers his usual effervescent persona, heartfelt sentiment, and technique; and McHale displays his keyboard skills and reliable partnership…”
Patrick Hanudel – American Record Guide – September/October 2013
**** - Excellent
Luca Rossetto Casel – Musica magazine – June 2013
“This is a delightful disc, not just through the warmth and fun of the five works by five composers, but through the magic of the great clarinettist Michael Collins...”
Edward Greenfield – Gramophone magazine – June 2013
Performance **** Recording ****
“...Collins’s lustrous expertise is fully evidence, as is Michael McHale’s top-flight accompanying.”
Malcolm Hayes – BBC Music magazine – May 2013
"Recently this site mentioned a stunning Chandos issue of British clarinet concertos played by Michael Collins... Now we have another featuring this remarkable artist, his second devoted to British clarinet sonatas. The first, issued about a year ago, featured music of Ireland, Bax, Bliss, Stanford and Howells. Now we have the works listed above, all challenges for the soloist, magnificently played. Of particular interest is Tributes, a set of 5 short pieces, each written for a leading clarinetist, ending with "To Bela Bartók" composed for Collins. And Arthur Benjamin’s Le Tombeau de Ravel is a set of 5 brief valse-caprices suggested by Ravel’s famous work. Captivating music all, recorded with remarkably vivid sound by Chandos. Another terrific CD!"
Robert Benson - ClassicalCDreview.com - 26 March 2013
“Michael Collins is on superb musical and technical form for Chandos’s second volume of British Clarinet Sonatas... All the music here is worth hearing, the Cooke and Gregson standing out for me. These matchless performances, with Michael Mc Hale every bit Michael Collin’s equal, are beautifully recorded and presented. Enjoy!”
Colin Anderson – International Record Review – March 2013
BRITISH CLARINET SONATAS, VOL. 2; COLLINS / MCHALE
This is Vol. 2 in the series ‘British Clarinet Sonatas’, in which Michael Collins is joined by the pianist Michael McHale in a survey of music by Joseph Horovitz (Sonatina), Edward Gregson (Tributes), Arthur Benjamin (Le Tombeau de Ravel), Sir Malcolm Arnold (Sonatina), and Arnold Cooke (Sonata). BBC Music awarded Vol. 1 of the series five stars and wrote: ‘Collins’s clarinet-playing mesmerises the ear; the closing phrase of Stanford’s “Caoine” shows what a player in this league can convey in just two quiet notes. Without snatching the limelight, Michael McHale’s accompanying finds a range of keyboard colours in, above all, works by Ireland and Howells, making their individual sound-worlds seem unexpectedly subtle and rich.’
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