Classics Today 10/10, highest rating: 'This is an absolutely wonderful disc in every way', Best of the Year Selection 2007; BBC Music Magazine: outstanding.
Like Mozart with Anton Stadler and later Brahms with his Richard Mühlfeld, Carl Maria von Weber could also call upon an exceptional clarinettist: Heinrich Baermann, who inspired all of the works on this disc. Although they were written before Weber had composed Der Freischütz, the opera which made him an instant star of early Romantic music, they are now among his most played works. The Concertino and the two Concertos were all composed in 1811, almost in a frenzy that testifies to the inspiration Weber must have experienced when first hearing Baermann. It’s also audible in the music which showcases the instrument’s technical capabilities and displays its richness of colours, while providing it with gripping moments in aria-like slow movements and virtuosic and vivacious finales. To perform these works an all-round musician is needed: someone like Baermann – or like Martin Fröst! With his latest release on BIS - chamber works by Brahms (BIS-SACD-1353) - Fröst captured the hearts and ears of both audiences and reviewers, as testified by a number of distinctions and by the following quote: ‘[His] smooth, even tone is deliciously seductive, and he can darken or lighten the sound at will, from velvet warmth with a sensitively applied vibrato, to a soaring clarity that never goes louder than lovely … I could write more, but if you'll excuse me, I'd rather like to be seduced all over again.' (Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3: CD Review). Before that, Fröst's take on Mozart's Concerto and Quintet (BIS-SACD-1263) caused similar reactions, for instance in International Record Review: 'Better recorded performances of these towering masterpieces may exist, but I have never heard them. In their technical proficiency, style consciousness and broad, yet never exaggerated emotional range, they shine as major achievements.'