New, forthcoming, noteworthy, or just plain fun stuff, with links to the nice folks who create it.
JUST OUT—A NEW STANDARD
“Béranger’s big-boned tone and pleasantly bottom-heavy instrument (yielding almost cello-like sonorities in places) are a delight in the Viola Sonata….The gently hypnotic Morpheus and gravely beautiful Passacaglia (On an Old English Tune) which follow are equally attractive, and the Dvořák-ish Dumka for Violin, Viola & Piano is great fun.”—Katherine Cooper, Presto Editor’s Choices (August 2022)
Now the benchmark recorded anthology of Clarke’s music featuring viola, this magnificent disc also includes Chinese Puzzle, the famous Two Pieces for Viola and Cello, and the world-première recording of the recently discovered third piece for that combination, Irish Melody (see the next item, below).
“Open harmonies laden with parallel fourths and thick luscious doublestops in both parts…. Arrives at a time in which performers can console audiences remotely, evoke nostalgia, and mitigate a yearning to connect with loved ones in person again…. A cathartic outlet sorely needed in these challenging times.”—Gregory K. Williams, Journal of the American Viola Society (Fall 2020)
The first publication of Clarke’s long-lost, recently-discovered third duet for viola (or violin) and cello—a heart-melting setting of the tune best known as “Londonderry Air.” For a preview of the piece’s fascinating history and back-story click here. Order here.
“Star power, especially in the brilliant selections by Rebecca Clarke….Critic’s Choice. ★”—Maria Mazzaro, Opera News (October 2022)
“Schultz emerges as a master storyteller….In addition to her instinctual projection of words and eloquent phrase-shaping, her vocal colour morphs seamlessly from one register to another, each more alluring than the last.”—David Patrick Stearns, Gramophone (July 2022)
“[The Clarke songs] have never been better recorded, nor has their dramatic potential been realized more completely.”—Robert Fraunholzer, Rondo: Das Klassik- und Jazz-Magazin (April 9, 2022)
One of the best recital-discs in living memory features landmark performances of four of Clarke’s most important songs—Down by the Salley Gardens; Tiger, Tiger; Cradle Song; and The Seal Man—by two of the finest performers in the world today. Buy now. If you need persuading, here‘s an interesting interview with Schultz.
“All violists owe a debt of gratitude to David Bynog for this masterful book, which will serve as an inexhaustible resource for decades to come.”—Andrew H. Weaver, Journal of the American Viola Society (Spring 2021)
“Bynog…is uniquely qualified to introduce his instrument’s repertoire to all interested readers regardless of background….Footnotes and an up-to-date bibliography complete this indispensable publication.”—Carlos María Solare, The Strad (August 24, 2021)
“He knows the music inside-out and is the ideal guide….Will be invaluable to program-note writers and casual music lovers.”—Laurence Vittes, Strings Magazine (May 17, 2021)
Bynog’s crackerjack chapter on Clarke’s Sonata, based on a meticulous survey of all the known primary sources, includes the first publication of Pomposo, an albumblatt Clarke composed in her ninetieth year. Available in cloth, paper, Apple Books, or Kindle.
“The three songs by Rebecca Clarke impress with their dramatic intensity and heartfelt interpretation.”—Sven Godenrath, Ihr Opernratgeber (May 22, 2021)
“[The] readings are transparent, dynamic, vehement and, most importantly, made with great dramatic force.”—Marçal Borotau, Sonograma (April 29, 2021)
This new release by the Gemini chamber ensemble features one of the best-ever performances of Clarke’s Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale, by Ian Mitchell and Yuko Inoue.
“A most attractively balanced and paced recording. [Mitchell and Inoue] get the deft folkloric drift and project it with just the right weight of significance…. [In the Pastorale, they] strike an almost perfect balance.”—Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International (March 31, 2021)
“Rigorous and exuberant, [the Allegro] reminds us of the magnificence of Clarke’s music….A fine recording and presentation that is both beautiful and comprehensive.”—Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer (March 13, 2021)
“[Clarke’s] Trio is one of the masterpieces of its genre, leaving Ives and Beach in its dust….Energetic, well-executed performances.”—James H. North, Fanfare (November/December 2021)
“Lyrical beauty, burning brio and an awesome degree of ensemble spirit, especially clear in fast tempos….A splendid package in all.”—Geoff Brown, Classical Music (a service of BBC Music Magazine, December 23, 2020)
NOW AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE
“Beautifully recorded…. Ruman and Hučková’s playing is engaging and casts a fascinating spell. I’ll be returning to it many times.”—Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International
This lovely all-Clarke recital is now available outside the E.U. through Europadisc. Consider yourselves lucky: we had to get our Polish friend’s sister-in-law in Krakow to order it from Pavlik Records in Slovakia, so she could give it to her husband the next time he flew to New York, so he could give it to his sister in Greenpoint, so she could hand-deliver it to us in Brooklyn. Trust us: it was worth all the trouble that now you won’t have to go to.
ASSOCIATED BOARD TITLES
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music features five works by Clarke in its 2020-2023 grade exams. For viola: I’ll Bid My Heart Be Still (grade 5); Lullaby (grade 6); and Morpheus (grade 8). For cello: I’ll Bid My Heart Be Still (grade 7); and Passacaglia on an Old English Tune (grade 8).
Performance-materials and complete information about syllabuses are available here.
REBECCA CLARKE GEAR
Arty Margit’s take on the famous portrait by Louis Langfier (c. 1923), reproduced in a host of useful and amusing merchandise. For prints of the graphic, click here. For framed prints, clothing, accessories, totes and carry-alls, cases and skins for your devices, stationery, housewares, mugs, regalia, and (God help us) COVID-worthy face-masks, click here.
Graphic: Copyright © Margit van der Zwan. Reproduced by permission.
POÈTE, PRENDS TA TASSE!
Try your favorite warm beverage in this snazzy mug from Alto Clef Gifts, emblazoned with the opening salvo of Clarke’s Viola Sonata. Comes in two sizes: 11 ounces and 15 ounces.
Clarke was an avid tea-drinker. Her brew of choice was Jacksons of Piccadilly in the big blue tin, an ambrosial concoction of which only a dim simulacrum survives today. We recommend these instead.