Martin Fröst makes his debut with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto on 28 & 30 November. The programme, which is conducted by Sir Roger Norrington, also includes Mozart’s Symphonies Nos. 33 & 36. On 1 December at the Gewandhaus, Fröst performs Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet with the Appollon Musagète Quartet in a recital that also sees the quartet perform Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No.2. Fröst performs the Mozart concerto a number of times during the current season. His new CD of the work has recently been released on the BIS label to great critical acclaim - Fröst being described by Hugh Canning in his Sunday Times review of the disc as "one of this masterpiece's supreme interpreters."
Martin Fröst has just returned to Europe and is meeting up with Sir Roger Norrington to play Mozart with him and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig after a major tour of Australia with Australin Chamber Orchestra. Martin´s programming, which included both Mozart´s Clarinet Concerto and his brother Göran´s successful work DTangled where Martin both plays the clarinet, conducts the orchestra and dances was a revelation to the Australian audinences. The queues to his record signing were meandering through the lobbies and the audience reactions overwhelming. Below, please read a few excerpts from the Australian press: This was a five-star concert - how could it not be? Sharing the stage with the Australian Chamber Orchestra was virtuoso clarinettist Martin Frost, introducing a new style of conducting. There were two new works, one of them by the clarinetist’s brother. And there was Mozart. DTangled was born out of an idea to create a fusion between music and movement of the classical music scene. It harnesses Martin's remarkable combination of talents calling for him to play sing dance and conduct. Because this concept was so new this reviewer found herself concentrating far more on the conductor than the music! The orchestra was drawn into the mood so that at one point the cellists were at 45° angles to their chairs. The music was at one stage like jazz, at another ethereal, possibly even other-worldly. But by far the greater interest was in the clarinettist/conductor/dancer at the front of the stage. As he swayed, kicked his feet and moved his clarinet we could see that this enhanced conducting might have something to recommend it. We were, in short, charmed. Interestingly, though, there was little extraneous movement when Frost was playing his solo part, his stance more confident and relaxed as he simply stood and let the music soak into him. Notable was the clarinetist’s fluid control of the work’s ornamentation and rhythms. As the solo ended you could hear his breath for seconds after the notes had finished. The final allegro most suited Frost’s responsiveness to music. Towards the end of the movement his desire to move took over - but never at the expense of the sound. His enthusiasm could be seen as a well-deserved tribute to the musicians of the ACO who had complemented his playing, as well as delivering a memorable concert in their own right. - Arts Hub, Suzanne Yanko, 5 stars, November 18, 2013 It’s not every woodwind player who can hold an audience spellbound through a five-minute comedic monologue before tap-dancing his way through a tricky bit of contemporary music. But then not everyone is Martin Fröst, possibly the world’s leading clarinet virtuoso. The rangy Fröst then arrived on the platform, regaling us with a cheeky monologue about improvisation that turned out to be a part of the work in hand, DTangled, a piece for clarinet, strings and terpsichorean soloist by his brother Göran Fröst. Like some kind of crazy Scandinavian klezmer music, the piece called for the clarinettist to show himself a triple-threat, in this case revealing his previously known about dance-skills but also proving that his comic timing ain’t bad either. Wearing tap-shoes into the bargain, Fröst’s magnetic body work and foot-stamping lead an equally engaging physical response from the orchestra. The evening concluded with perhaps the main event – Fröst playing the Mozart concerto – something of a signature work for him nowadays with two fine recordings under his belt (see an upcoming Limelight for review). The charismatic Fröst’s elegant, silky tone was showcased on the basset clarinet (for which the work was originally composed) as he wriggled like a lizard evenly over the full range of his instrument and pretty much over the stage as well. The delicacy of his pianissimo playing in the Adagio was extraordinary – “heaven beckoning” as my collegue Steve Moffatt said to me afterwards. I can only concur. - Limelight Magazine, Clive Paget, November 19, 2013 But where does communication end and performance begin? Are the words part of the show, or does the music proper only begin with non-verbal sound? These were questions which came to the fore in the Australian premiere of Goran Frost's DTangled, performed by brother and extraordinary clarinet virtuoso Martin Frost. DTangled has an agenda: its mixture of choreography and notes is a conscious subversion of classical music traditions. It is clever, unexpected, and quite beautiful. However, it is difficult to imagine anyone other than Martin Frost making it work. His virtuosity at the clarinet is unassailable, but what really changes the rules is his ability to bring the audience into his confidence, holding a collective breath, waiting for the note until… Go and see it to find out what he does. At the other end of the evening, Frost's performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622, was relatively conventional, although he did play it on the basset horn, and he did use the magic of circular breathing to spin the rangy melodies out with seamless, artless beauty. - SMH, Harriet Cunningham, November 19, 2013 The most striking work of the program was the Australian premiere of Goran Frost’s’ Dtangled’, featuring his brother Martin on clarinet. ‘DTangled,’ we were informed, began with improvisation. The question was asked ‘Isn’t all music quotes?” “And, indeed, who are we? Wearing tap shoes and a distinctive slinky black suit with white piping detail, Martin Frost is tall, elegant and blonde and conducted keeping time through stamping his feet , clicking his fingers and dancing. The dancing was almost Michael Jackson in style but also at times ‘Petrushka’-like with Frost as the marionette. Sometimes it was semi-robotic and included jumps and breakdancing. The clarinet was magnificently played to convey an eerie, spooky atmosphere while at other times it was spiky, sharp and percussive. For one section there was unusual use of bowing on the soundboard for the tumultuous cello. For this work in particular there was dramatic lighting. Then came the big finale that we had all been waiting for, the Mozart clarinet concerto. Frost’s playing on his Bassett clarinet was sublime, ravishing, in his extraordinary dialogue with the orchestra. The second movement was lyrical, with fluid virtuosic ripples from the clarinet. The third movement had a jaunty opening and Frost had great fun with the tricky, bright flourishes. Frost did not move about as for ‘DTangled’ but rather swayed a little and breathed the music. Sheer bliss and it was given a rapturous reception. The encore was a sizzling rendition of one of Brahm’s Hungarian dances that still left the audience wanting more. - The Sydney Arts Guide, Lynne Lancaster, November 24, 2013 Frost sparkles with Australian Chamber Orchestra DTangled has an agenda: its mixture of choreography and notes is a conscious subversion of classical music traditions. It is clever, unexpected, and quite beautiful. However, it is difficult to imagine anyone other than Martin Frost making it work. His virtuosity at the clarinet is unassailable, but what really changes the rules is his ability to bring the audience into his confidence, holding a collective breath, waiting for the note until… Go and see it to find out what he does. At the other end of the evening, Frost's performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622, …. he did play it on the basset horn, and he did use the magic of circular breathing to spin the rangy melodies out with seamless, artless beauty. The Australian Chamber Orchestra responded to his idiomatic reading, turning this classical warhorse into a fluent and frantic conversation between friends. - The Sydney Morning Herald, November 2013
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