This is an intriguing juxtaposition of two major German musical voices: Jörg Widmann as composer, conductor, and clarinettist alongside Felix Mendelssohn in Scottish mood. One of the strengths of Widmann’s conducting is the way he brings a composer’s ear to tempo relationships and their flow, making for a very satisfying listen. The Hebrides Overture is flexible and atmospheric while the symphony has great strength, revealing some fine playing by the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Widmann’s “180 Beats per Minute” is an energetic study in rhythm while his Fantasie for solo clarinet finds the composer as soloist in truly virtuoso form.
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