NEW ERA Ottensamer 4814711

. . . delightful . . . Ottensamer's sweet, light sound and his complete control of tone and phrasing are matched by the Kammerakademie Potsdam's lithe, responsive accompaniment . . . [the collaborations with flautist extraordinaire Emmanuel Pahud and Albrecht Mayer] add a fun extra element to the recording, which, all in all, is a jolly lovely one.

Ottensamer presents a dazzling selection of the clarinet's early repertoire . . . Featuring duets with Albrecht Mayer and Emmanuel Pahud -- two of the great wind soloists of our time.

. . . sparkling . . . with irresistible immediacy. The bookends are concertos by Johann and Carl Stamitz, the father-and-son team who between them helped shape Mannheim's musical life; they're sprightly, charm-laden pieces to which Ottensamer brings plenty of gusto. But the real keepers here are pieces by the Mannheim composer Franz Danzi -- particularly a gorgeous and unpredictable double concerto for clarinet and bassoon, in which Ottensamer is joined by English hornist Albrecht Mayer. In this context, two Mozart opera arias, with their vocal lines given over to the flute, almost sound like ringers.

. . . it would be hard to imagine classier performances than these. With his velvet, sensuous tone and minute control of dynamics, Ottensamer surely has few peers among today's clarinettists. In both Stamitz concertos and the Danzi-Mozart variations, his refinement of phrasing and subtle dynamic shading is allied to a sense of fun and fantasy, not least in his improvised lead-ins and cadenzas. He and the alert Potsdam band ensure that rhythms are kept light and supple . . . Emmanuel Pahud and Albrecht Mayer match him all the way in finesse, with Pahud and Ottensamer providing luxury duetting in two modestly entertaining Mozart opera arrangements. A perfect disc for any clarinet lover . . .

. . . [in the concerto by the elder Stamitz the clarinet line] is pleasingly pungent . . . with lots of guttural low notes and charming runs, as well as a delightfully genial cadenza, some lovely long lines in the slow movement and a playful finale . . . [the younger Stamitz's concerto is] very pleasant on the ear . . . [Ottensamer] is definitely centre-stage in the slow movement with its long-poured-out, singerly central melody, spiced further by an improvisatory cadenza . . . the two operatic arrangements co-starring Emmanuel Pahud are utterly charming. Danzi's "Fantasy" on "Là ci darem" has a deceptively Romanticised opening but then turns into a delightful set of variations which showcase the clarinettist as an opera singer. It's all very fine . . .

. . . admirable virtuosity throughout . . .

. . . engineers have captured a very realistic well-balanced sound. An outstanding issue!

Sein einschmeichelndes Legato und die virtuose Brillanz bieten Hörgenuss pur, was sich in Danzis Concertino für Klarinette, Fagott und Orchester noch potenziert. Die Fagottstimme ist für Englischhorn transkribiert. Gespielt von Albrecht Meyer, der mit seinem Orchesterkollegen um die Wette verziert. Ergänzt wird das Programm durch Mozart-Opernbearbeitungen (u. a. aus "Mitridate, re di Ponto"). Das Duett "Se viver non degg'io" mit Flötist und Philharmoniker-Kollege Emmanuel Pahud möchte man nicht mehr anders hören, so selig "singen" die beiden miteinander. Begleitet werden sie von der auf historisch-informierter Basis, aber nicht doktrinär, dafür locker musizierenden Kammerakademie Potsdam.

In derart subtilen Interpretationen machen diese Concerti der Mannheimer Schule eine optimale Figur.

. . . Ottensamer s'approche des inflexions de la voix chantée et galbe un phrasé élégant, repris par ses plus proches collègues . . . nous admirons sa fraicheur et son "art de la conversation" classique. Il dirige d'ailleurs lui-même la Kammerakademie Potsdam, avec un dynamisme précis.