LAWRENCE BUDMEN listens to
Richard Stoltzman in a crossover programme
Benny Goodman was one of the seminal performing artists of the twentieth century. One of the great jazz clarinetists and band leaders, he justifiably was crowned 'the king of swing'. He would present the first jazz concerts at Carnegie Hall and many other temples of western culture. Goodman had a second career as a classicist. He would play Mozart with the legendary Budapest String Quartet and conductors Arturo Toscanini, Eugene Ormandy, and Charles Munch and would revive the clarinet works of Carl Maria von Weber (which he recorded under the baton of Jean Martinon). Bela Bartok, Paul Hindemith, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein composed original scores for Goodman.
Richard Stoltzman. Photo © Steve Sherman
Richard Stoltzman is an artist in the Goodman tradition. After first honing his skills as a classical musician in the 1970s and early 1980s with the innovative chamber group Tashi and in numerous orchestral appearances, Stoltzman set his artistic sights on a broader musical terrain. (His incandescent performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto with the Florida Philharmonic under Kenneth Schermerhorn remains etched in the mind's ear.) He has played the works of many contemporary composers including former Florida International University School of Music Director Frederick Kaufman. (He made a superb recording of Kaufman's austere Clarinet Concerto with former FIU orchestral director Carlos Piantini conducting on the MMC label.) A series of historic appearances with Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, George Shearing, and the late Mel Torme firmly established Stoltzman as a crossover artist and a true musical chameleon. On 17 June 2004 at Coral Gables Congregational Church in Coral Gables, Florida, USA, Stoltzman presented a recital that reflected his dual musical personality.
Copyright © 8 July 2004
Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA