Max REGER – Clarinet Sonatas with Michael Collins. BBC Music Magazine, Chamber Choice

Max Reger (1873-1916): Clarinet Sonatas

Sonate in A flat major, Op. 49 No. 1 Sonate in F sharp minor, Op. 49 No. 2 Sonate in B flat major, Op. 107
Michael Collins – Clarinet, Michael McHale – Piano
Chandos 10970 @ £12.25*

BBC Music Magazine, Chamber Choice, November 2017. Throughout all the performances, Collins shapes Reger’s long- breathed melodic lines with great sensitive while McHale is particularly impressive in bringing lightness and clarity to Reger’s often thickly textured piano parts.” 

Michaels Collins and McHale are an established partnership and – through perception, virtuosity and teamwork – open up the many attractions of Reger’s Clarinet Sonatas with considerable persuasion and are very well recorded.” Classical Source

Michael Collins and Michael McHale here present a new volume in their exploration of the lyrical clarinet repertoire. Their journey through works that encapsulate the variety of nuance and colour of which the instrument is capable, inevitably led them to another great composer for the medium: Max Reger.
The Brahms-influenced (see CHAN10844), essentially lyrical and tender works recorded here contrast particularly with the more familiar, contrapuntally rich and loud organ music usually associated with Reger. The three clarinet sonatas are among fourteen such duo works in his published output, composed between 1890 and 1915: effectively his entire compositional career. Although his continuing adherence to sonata-form principles is clearly evident in the two Op. 49 sonatas, the greater formal clarity of Op. 107 suggests that the lightness and geniality, even plainness, which Reger ascribed to it form part of an underlying classical simplicity of conception, for all the music’s modernistic surface.

On top of his conducting career (City of London Sinfonia, Philharmonia Orchestra) and various recitals around the world, Michael Collins will hold a four concert residency at LSO St Luke’s in the 2017’s 18 season, dedicated to chamber music and including recitals with Michael McHale.
Chandos  10970 @ £12.25*

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