Chiaroscuro, Works for clarinet and piano - Ona Cardona, Josep Colom
Eudora Records EUD-SACD-2105
Classical - Chamber
Brahms: Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1
Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 73
Schumann, Clara: Romances (3), Op. 22
Brahms: Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 120 No. 2
Ona Cardona (clarinet)
Josep Colom (piano)
Clarinetist Ona Cardona and pianist Josep Colom join forces on this recording, performing Brahms' late masterpieces, the clarinet sonatas Op. 120. Superb performances of both sonatas that framed Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Op. 73 and a wonderful arrangement for clarinet and piano of Clara Schumann’s largely neglected Romanzen, Op. 22.
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Review by Adrian Quanjer - October 12, 2021
A fallback position? Many politicians, parliamentarians, diplomats, generals, and even ordinary souls like me should have one. And what’s more, for clever people it may even be a better position than the one advanced in the first place! Such was my feeling when listening to this new release of Eudora. Reviewing often means listening to a great variety of music. And to be quite honest, not always to the encouragement of my peace of mind. Lengthy listening to hefty unfamiliar stuff cries for a fallback position of known and cherished chamber music of the likes of Brahms and the Schumann family. Well then, here it is.
For Brahms’ sonatas for clarinet and piano ample choice exists. And good performances at that. However, in combination with Mr. and Mrs. Schumann’s ‘Phantasy & Romance’, the choice narrows dramatically. Thanks to a well-balanced programme, composed by Ona Cardona and Josep Colom, the listener can indulge in deliciously cooked spiritual food for the soul.
The Spanish star pianist Josep Colum no longer needs any further crown; The clarinettist, Ona Cardona does. Telling stories without words, that is how she portrays herself on her website, or rather, as we must assume, her playing. And that is exactly what she does in this debut recording. She ‘tells’ a story of darkness and light. A Chiaroscuro, created by the intertwining and mostly complex relations between the three composers; a human trinity. The result is as passionate as Brahms’ hidden love for Clara.
Colum is an ideal partner. His support creates a perfect backdrop for Ona to shine in Brahms’ late masterpieces with a combination of considered forward thrust and warm mellow restraint, without any overdoing nor overbearing. Clara’s shaded romance is lovingly translated into a tale of wondering curiosity, possibly inspired by her husband’s phantasies. Indeed, telling stories without words.
Mind-blowing sound? You bet! Gonzalo Noqué’s sound wizardry is maybe as usual to him, as it is unusual for the average MP3 listener. Noise otherwise going unnoticed lends extra reality to this wonderful recital of known and cherished chamber music. There is no better tonic to recover from daily stress.
Blangy-le-Château, Normandy, France.
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