Laura Ruiz Ferreres / Mandelring Quartett JOHANNES BRAHMS The Complete Chamber Music for Clarinet

Audite's 2013 double-SACD of Johannes Brahms' complete works for clarinet is an attractive presentation of the artistry of Laura Ruiz Ferreres, one of the Europe's leading clarinetists. Ruiz Ferreres is accompanied by pianist Christoph Berner in the Clarinet Sonatas No. 1 and No. 2, Op. 120, and she also joins Berner and cellist Danjulo Ishizaka in the Trio in A minor, Op. 114; for the Quintet in B minor, Op. 115, she performs with the Mandelring Quartet. Ruiz Ferreres' polished technique and limpid tone are brilliantly showcased in these audiophile recordings, and while she naturally comes to the foreground as the soloist in the two sonatas, she is on equal terms with her partners in the trio and the quintet. Shifting easily between carrying the melodic line and being one voice among others, Ruiz Ferreres always puts herself at the service of the music and never forces her presence. Thanks to the remarkable details, textures, and dimensions of the super audio format, there's no need for her to compete with the other musicians, because the reproduction captures all the instruments with credible tone colors and a good sense of their placement, though some passages seem to be a bit soft and recessed. Fans of Brahms' late chamber music will appreciate the clarinet's warmth, the burnished tone of the strings, and the introspective mood of the interpretations. (Blair Sanderson)

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