“Shifrin has been the artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest since 1981, and was also director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center from 1992 to 2004. In the latter capacity, he supervised a marvelous three-CD set of the complete chamber music of Debussy (Delos 3167) which happens to be one of my all-time favorite recordings. And, in both capacities—East Coast and West—he works with some of my favorite American chamber musicians, among them the Kavafian sisters on violin, Anne-Marie McDermott on piano, Paul Neubauer on viola and Fred Sherry (who was actually Stoltzman’s ex-bandmate in the chamber group Tashi) on cello.
“Thus it was with great enthusiasm that I looked forward to this recording, and I was not the least bit disappointed. Shifrin always seems to be able to bring out so much character in the groups he supervises and/or participates in, partly, I suspect, due to the extremely high quality of his musical friends, and this is no exception. From the first notes of Copland’s Sextet, one of his finest works and a reduction of his Short Symphony, one is immediately riveted by the high quality of the music and its performance.
“This also appears to be the premiere recording of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra. It is typical of her wonderful style, beginning with a brash, cheerful first movement before shifting gears into an elegy for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy…Even more remarkably, unlike other composers who stayed within elegy mode, Zwilich presents a third movement that is not only upbeat but actually a scherzo, albeit a quirky one with a slow passage in the middle reminiscent of the second-movement elegy…
“…there is no mistaking the deeply felt quality of the performance, so much so that the emotion is palpable, nor of the high quality of the concerto itself. I have no hesitation in recommending this disc.” — Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine
Read the full review in the upcoming issue of Fanfare Magazine.