The clarinet began life as a poor relation to the oboe and flute. Players usually doubled roles, and it was not until the 1770s, nearly eighty years after the instrument's invention, that any significant dedicated repertory developed. The concertos on this recording show the extent to which native English composers quickly embraced the galant idiom in works of great spirit which frequently exploit the more colourful palette to be drawn from the clarinet when it is employed in tonalities remote to the natural pitch of the instrument.
»This is a really delightful collection of pieces. Both Lawson and Harris play superbly throughout, blending well together and displaying immaculate intonation« (BBC Music Magazine)
»Un hermoso y magnificamente interpretado registro, con el habituel buen sonido de Hyperion« (CD Compact, Spain)
»Dazzlingly played by Colin Lawson, a sustained tour de force of virtuosity, coupled with a depth and richness of tone one hardly expects from a period clarinet as well as high musicianship. Anyone interested in the clarinet and its early repertory should be sure to try this disc« (Gramophone)
»If you didn't invest in this charming CD first time round, snap it up now that it has come out at bargain price. It is a fresh window on the fecund and unexpectedly varied musical world of late 18th- and early 19th-century London and at the same time on the early solo life of the clarinet, an instrument which emerged rather late on the classical scene but immediately leapt to prominence in the hands of a series of virtuosi ... The technical demands of these showpieces are considerable on an early clarinet, but fortunately as a considerable scholar of this music and a virtuoso player in his own right, Colin Lawson imbues the music with just the right amount of élan« (Early Music Forum of Scotland News)
Gramophone: »Überwältigendes Spiel von Colin Lawson, eine ›Tour de fource‹ an Virtuosität, gekoppelt mit einem tiefen, vollen Ton, den man von einem historischen Instrument so nicht erwartet hätte.«
Fanfare: »Eine von Anfang bis Ende schöne CD. Das Spiel des Solisten ist eine wahre Quelle der Freude.«