Gramophone Magazine has a new interview and review with David Shifrin about his new Delos recording of the music of Carl Nielsen in their August 2018 issue’s “Sounds of America” section:
What first drew you to the music of Nielsen?
I was 13 years old when I first heard Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto. I was so inspired by its energy, colour, emotional breadth and technical challenges that it played a large part in my decision to become a clarinettist.
Can you tell us something of the other Nielsen works on this album?
Nielsen is primarily known as a symphonist of grand, dramatic and often dark gestures. Discovering the lighter, more intimate and humorous miniatures contained in this album has been an enormous pleasure.
“Nielsen’s challenging clarinet-writing poses no problems whatsoever for David Shifrin’s seasoned mastery. His prodigious breath control and effortless legato phrasing make light of the composer’s more fanciful flights, yet he’s not afraid to rough up his tone in climactic fortissimos or in his combative exchanges with Jon Greeney’s expert snare drum virtuosity.…The remaining works are more than mere fillers. I’ve never heard so robustly characterised a performance of the delicious Serenata in vano for clarinet, bassoon, cello and double bass, not to mention these lovingly nuanced readings of the early Fantasy and two Fantasy Pieces (beautifully appropriated by Shifrin from the original oboe part).…Great sound, great annotations, great programming and great musicianship can only mean one thing: buy this disc!”