Clarinet lover s favorite

Any clarinet lover out there? What is your favorite composer, player and recording?
Try any of the Richard Stoltzman's CDs playing a wide selections of music (Dreams, Visions, Spirits, Open Sky, etc.) by RCA Victor.
Vtvu, there's a good reason Frogman did not mention Stoltzman, and Frogman sounds like he knows his clarinet players. Two of my favorite recordings that also SOUND marvelous are Eddie Daniels on Reference Recordings, Brahms Quintet, and, Andrew Marriner, a Tavener piece called 'The Repentant Thief' on Collins. I once heard Stolzman live, play (at) the Copland concerto....I don't think so.
In fairness to Vtvu's recommendation, I must say that for whatever it is worth Stolzman has accomplished the seemingly impossible. He has gained name recogniton as a soloist on an instrument that, as far as woodwinds go, is not nearly as popular as the saxophone or the flute. He does have a certain charm about him on stage that appeals to many, and his playing can also at times have that charm. He is considered by players something of a rebel. He does some unorthodox things such as the use of vibrato in some music where traditionally the clarinet does not do that. To me there is a hard to describe "throw caution to the wind" kind of attitude that I personally find refreshing at times but that drives most players I know absolutely nuts. My favorite recording of his is "Quartet For The End Of Time" by Messiaen. Hitsbbop, Eddie Daniels is one of the most incredible virtuosos on the instrument although I find his jazz work, particularly his crossover stuff, much more convincing than his classical work. Most don't realize that he is just as accomplished on the saxophone and the flute. An amazing feat. My favorite recordings of his are his very first; a duo recording with guitarist Bucky Pizzareli and "Breakthrough" and also his work with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big band (on tenor sax) from the '70's. I had the good fortune of being able to hear Stanley Drucker play the Copland concerto five times during the NY Philharmonic's Asia tour. Every single performance was different from the previous; and in a good way. That should lay to rest the naive idea that classical artists are simply reading notes and lack spontenaity. Cheers.
Hi Frogman: I'm glad you responded for I can tell you know your clarinet stuff.

Granted, Stolzman (or RCA/BMG) has elevated the visibility of the clarinet to the great unwashed. It makes me wonder that if RCA/BMG had backed Eddie Daniels would not the same thing have happened for an even better reason. Frankly, I think Daniels is just a better clarinet player, and that would include classical. On recordings, Daniels hasn't been given enough opportunity to prove his classical chops, IMHO. I first heard him with Thad Jones/Mel Lewis live in 1966 at the Village Vanquard in New York and I knew he was something special, dueling, as it were, on tenor, with the late, great Joe Farrell. Hell, I didn't even know then that clarinet was his principal instrument. I learned later that one of his teachers in New York was Joe Allard, a clarinet teacher legend, which probably accounts for that marvelous sound. Last spring I heard Daniels give a workshop up front and personal at Rice University and the sound and technique he got out of that instrument was just incredible. If you ever had the misfortune of hearing the Stolzman recording with the Woody Herman band you'd know that 'caution' is Stolzman's best friend. Cheez, it's embarrasing. Frogman, you are indeed lucky (you must have been on the staff) to hear Drucker play the Copland that many times in that short a time. I just wish I could hear Daniels play it once, on a recording, but nobody's biting. I asked him.
My nomination is an old one, Jimmy Giuffre 3 on Atlantic Records. The cut that comes to mind is one of my all time Jazz favorites, "The Train and The River." This piece was recorded with the help of guitarist Jim Hall. A close second choice from this same period is "Western Suite." These works are still available from Mosiac on CD (LP sold out) and to my thinking, represents Jazz clarinet at it's best. By the way, Jimmy Giuffre is also known for his work as a clarinetist, arranger, composer and band leader. He worked with Woody Herman, Paul Bley and Steve Swallow, Pee Wee Russell and the Modern Jazz Quartet. Consider giving him a listen if your a Jazz lover.