W0046. MARTIN FRÕST, w.Lan Shui Cond. Singapore S.O.: The Pied Piper of the Opera - Clarinet Transcriptions by Mozart, Danzi, Rossini, Weber, Saint-Saëns, Hallström, Lovreglio & Hiller. (E.U.) BIS 1053, recorded 1999, Victoria Concert Hall, Singapore. [A revelation . . . Fröst's seamless legato in 'Leise, leise' is redolent of the singing of this aria by Tiana Lemnitz - this alone is worth the price of this CD.] - 7318590010532
Rossini: Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet & Orchestra
Mozart-Danzi: DON GIOVANNI - Phantasie über 'Là ci darem la mano'
Mozart: DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE - Ach, ich fühl's
Verdi-Lovreglio: LA TRAVIATA - Fantasia da Concerto
Saint-Saëns: SAMSON ET DALILA - Printemps qui commence
Weber: DER FREISCHÜTZ - Leise, leise, fromme Weise
Hiller, W: DER RATTENFÄNGER- Am Calvarienberg 'Hamelin’ 3 Klangbilder
Hallström: DEN BERGTAGNA - Spinn, spinn, gyllne sländan min!
“Few performers on any instrument have earned a reputation for virtuosity and seductive tone comparable to that enjoyed by Mr. Fröst for more than a decade. When the Swedish clarinetist performed this month at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, THE TIMES observed that ‘in earlier times the talent of Martin Fröst would have attracted suspicion, like that of Paganini, whom contemporaries suspected to be in cahoots with the Devil’.
Mr. Fröst began his musical studies at age 5, not as a student of the clarinet but of the violin. At 8 he shifted instruments because his family moved to a region of Northern Sweden with a strong wind tradition but no violin teacher. Coming from a musical family, he had already felt the lure of the Mozart concerto. ‘My father was a violist and sometimes played the clarinet part of Brahms’s chamber music for clarinet on the viola’, he said.”
- George Loomis, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 21 Aug., 2014
“Conductor Shui Lan (the Chinese order of his name; he bills himself as Lan Shui in English-speaking countries) began a quick rise to international attention in the 1990s. He began violin studies at the age of five in his hometown; he started piano a few years later. All these studies were abruptly interrupted when Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong decreed his disastrous Cultural Revolution, attacking all Western music as decadent and bourgeois and shutting down every university. Shui's piano teacher committed suicide, and Shui set aside his instruments. He was able to resume studies a few years later, while he was still a teenager, when Mao backed up from the ruinous Cultural Revolution. To continue studies, however, he had to travel regularly to Beijing, a 28-hour train ride. After completing his studies he became a member of an opera orchestra in the capital. The conductor recognized in Shui the qualities of his profession, but could not convince the young player to give up the security of an orchestral job for conducting or composing. After five more years study in Beijing, Shui became the conductor of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra. He found the position frustrating, as the Communist regime insisted on a repertory of only standard Romantic-era works and a few approved works praising Communist Party and Red Army institutions. He was, therefore, happy to accept an offer to become a Masters Candidate in Conducting at Boston University in 1986. Shui has held assistant or associate conducting positions with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 1997 he became music director of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the leading ensemble in Southeast Asia, succeeding its founder, Choo Hoey. With that orchestra, he conducted for Sweden's Bis label the first complete recorded collection of the symphonies of Alexander Tcherepnin, the Russian composer who was brought up in Shanghai.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com