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ZH 0150
DEVIENNE, F.: Clarinet Sonatas (Wonkak Kim, Eun-Hye Grace Choi)

DEVIENNE, F.: Clarinet Sonatas (Wonkak Kim, Eun-Hye Grace Choi)

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2012


Artists:

Eun-Hye Grace Choi

Soloist

Wonkak Kim

Soloist

Venue:

Opperman Music Hall, Tallahassee, Florida, USA



Record Label
Naxos

Genre:

Chamber


Classical

Total Time - 61:13
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DEVIENNE, F.: Clarinet Sonatas (Wonkak Kim, Eun-Hye Grace Choi)

     
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FRANCOIS DEVIENNE

     
 

Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in C major

 
1 I. Allegro con spiritoso 7:07
 Wonkak Kim Soloist
2 II. Adagio 5:32
 Wonkak Kim Soloist
3 III. Rondo: Allegretto 4:16
 Eun-Hye Grace Choi Soloist
     
 

Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E flat major

 
4 I. Allegro con spiritoso 4:45
 Wonkak Kim Soloist
5 II. Adagio 5:34
 Eun-Hye Grace Choi Soloist
6 III. Rondo: Allegretto 4:06
 Wonkak Kim Soloist
     
 

Clarinet Sonata in B flat major

 
7 I. Allegro: Tempo guisto 5:33
 Eun-Hye Grace Choi Soloist
8 II. Largo 3:49
 Wonkak Kim Soloist
9 III. Andantino con variazione 5:43
 Wonkak Kim Soloist
     
 

Clarinet Sonata in E flat major

 
10 I. Allegro 6:27
 Eun-Hye Grace Choi Soloist
11 II. Adagio cantabile 4:15
 Eun-Hye Grace Choi Soloist
12 III. Rondo: Allegretto non troppo 4:06
 Eun-Hye Grace Choi Soloist


François Devienne, born in 1759 in Joinville, France, the fourteenth and last child of a saddle dealer, was a child prodigy. Writing a Mass at the age of ten, Devienne showed not only unusual musical facility as a child, but an extraordinary degree of diligence as well. Emile Humbolt’s account of the young pupil is particularly illuminating: “Quite unlike other children, who have to be promised money if you want to get them to do anything, Devienne would leave off work only when his brother had given him a few écus, on condition that he would go and enjoy himself.” Quickly becoming highly proficient on the flute and bassoon, Devienne joined the Concerts de la Loge Olympique in 1784 and in 1788 the musicians of the Swiss Guard. He also became the principal bassoonist of the Théâtre de Monsieur (later the Théâtre Feydeau), retaining this position until 1801. While active as a woodwind virtuoso, Devienne wrote extensively in many genres, including a number of successful operas. Among these is the opéra comique Les visitandines (1792), which brought him much fame.
 
From 1791 Devienne held the rank of sergeant in the Garde Nationale and taught in its Institut National de Musique. In 1795 he became a charter faculty member of the Paris Conservatoire and was appointed its first flute professor and administrator. During his tenure as a Conservatoire professor, he wrote his celebrated Méthode de Flûte Théorique et Pratique (1793). His flute school brought a significant advance not only to the instrument, but also to the quality of eighteenth-century French wind music. Until his death at a sanatorium in Charenton near Paris in 1803, he was highly prolific, producing 25 quartets, 46 trios, and 147 duos in all styles, including 67 sonatas.
 
Although Devienne’s principal instruments were the flute and the bassoon, he became familiar with the clarinet early in his career. When he performed his first Symphonie concertante (1787) for flute, clarinet, and bassoon with Hugot and Lefebvre, the clarinet, then a relatively novel instrument, had already undergone considerable technical development and had the facility for considerable agility. Fascinated by the romanticism of his time, Devienne saw ample opportunities for expression through the clarinet’s impressive spectrum of range and dynamic. His sonatas for the clarinet, originally entitled Sonates pour clarinette et accompagnement de basse, are adapted from his own flute sonatas, Opp. 58 and 68. The first edition of these sonatas only consists of a two-staff score for a virtuosic solo part for clarinet in C over a highly compressed and simplified bass line. As many have argued, however, Devienne’s classical style, following the spirit of Mozart and Haydn, does not suggest a baroque realisation of these unfigured continuo lines. Instead, the editions used in this recording constantly feature ornate melodic lines given to the keyboard, according to the style of the period. With the exception of Sonata No. 1 in C major, the sonatas are transposed in order to retain the fingering for Devienne’s clarinet in C when playing a modern clarinet in B flat.
 
The clarinet sonatas display Devienne’s great ease of writing as well as his uniquely creative melodic lines. They encompass all forms and styles available in his time, ranging from the Baroque sonata to theme and variations. Along with works by his contemporaries Franz Anton Hoffmeister and Johann Baptist Vanhal, these selections represent the unrivaled charm and elegance of classical sonatas for the clarinet.
 
"The music played on this disc is adapted from Devienne’s flute sonatas. The two very young performers have made a fine recording of music not often heard. All four sonatas are enchantingly melodic. The first opens with excellent coordination between wind instrument and piano. Kim gives us lovely tonal nuances and fluidity. In the Adagio movement his control and ability to purvey emotional content come to the fore. He plays with a warm, expressive sound and demonstrates masterly control of the instrument’s registers. In the E?-Major Sonata’s rondo he plays difficult music as though it were the easiest thing in the world. The Sonata in B? has a slow movement with long phrases that Kim plays with amazing breath control. He concludes with a happy piece that continues to show the agility and fluidity of his exuberant musicianship. Choi is always right there with him. She plays with impeccable technique and meticulous attention to detail. They make a fine duet, and their recording is a fine choice for almost any music lover." 
 
Maria Nockin  - Fanfare - July 2012
 

"The four sonatas on this Naxos disc were arranged by the composer from four of his Flute Sonatas Opp. 58 and 68; given the dearth of such music in the late eighteenth century, they constitute an important body of early solo chamber music for the clarinet...the melodic lines played by the piano…[are] relatively simple and undemanding compared to those of Mozart’s sonatas for solo instrument and piano, not to mention Beethoven’s. This music is really all about the solo wind instrumen…this is Mr. Kim’s show, and he’s a fine advocate for Devienne’s elegant high-Classical music…Mr. Kim is to be commended for executing Devienne’s quick runs, trills, and leaps with flute-like efficiency. He produces a clean, attractive sound from top to bottom of his range, injecting Devienne’s tender slow movements with a deeper sentiment—that’s especially true of the minor-key second movement of Sonata No. 1, which could almost be a Mozart Adagio. Naxos’s recording from the University of Florida in Tallahassee is bright and clean and Kim’s playing makes this an attractive and valuable album…This is not just music for the clarinetist or the clarinet enthusiast but for all lovers of music from the age of Mozart."    **** 
 
Lee Passarella - Audiophile-Audition.com - May 2012



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