CRYSTAL RECORDS Clarinet Recordings

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CD301-scanCD301: BRAHMS Two Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano. Mitchell Lurie, Clarinet; Leona Lurie, Piano. DANIEL KESSNER, Dances for Clarinet and Guitar; Richard Lesser, Clarinet; Jordan Charnofsky, Guitar. UPC 009414730121. BUY NOW   


Mitchell Lurie, former principal clarinet with the  Pittsburgh and Chicago Symphonies under Fritz Reiner, taught at the University of Southern California for 50 years, and is possibly the best-known clarinetist in the world. The Brahms Sonatas were originally on Crystal LP S301, which was one of Crystal’s best-selling LPs. Richard Lesser, one of Lurie’s prize students, was principal clarinet with the Israel Philharmonic for 35 years. This is the premiere recording of Daniel Kesner’s Dances. Jordan Charnofsky has performed guitar with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, in the World Festival of Sacred Music, numerous times at the Academy Awards celebrations, and for TV and film.

“This CD is a digital transfer from Lurie’s original analogue LP recording which he did for Crystal Records in 1972. In reissuing this Crystal has performed an important service for clarinetists and lovers of the music of Brahms.  Mitchell Lurie had a long and distinguished career as a performer and artist teacher.  This CD is a beautiful partnership of long standing with his wife, Leona Lurie. She is a musician of equal stature in these performances, playing with real power and clarity which matches his clarinet playing.  Their Music making, if he could have heard it, would have brought a smile to Brahms’ face

“The music is immediately likeable and would be a welcome addition to a recital programme.”  Australian Clarinet and Saxophone, Summer 2009-2010

 Sound samples (uses RealPlayer) Click on the link to hear up to one minute of the movement shown.
Brahms Sonata in F Minor  
Mvt 1  Allegro appassionato   Mvt 2 Andante un poco Adagio   Mvt 3 Allegro grazioso   Mvt 4 Vivace    Brahms Sonata in Eb Major  Mvt 1 Allegro amabile   Mvt 2  Allegro appassionato   Mvt 3  Andante con moto    Kessner: Dances  Sicilienne   Balkan Dance   Sarabande   Fire Dance

A person holding a sign posing for the camera

Description automatically generatedCD330: JAMES CAMPBELL, CLARINET. John York, Piano.  UPC 009414733023.   BUY NOW

Malcolm Arnold, Sonatina, op. 29; Claude Debussy, Petite Pièce and Premiere Rhapsodie; Gabriel Pierné, Canzonetta; Alban Berg, Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, op. 5; Witold Lutoslawski, Five Dance Preludes; Paul Jeanjean, Carnival of Venice; Carl Maria von Weber, Seven Variations on a theme from Silvana, op. 33.


James Campbell, Clarinet, with John York, Piano. James Campbell has been named Canada's Artist of the Year, made a member of the CBC Classical Music Hall of Fame, awarded the Queen's Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medal, an Honorary Doctor of Laws, and Canada's highest honor, the Order of Canada. He has performed in over 35 countries with over 60 orchestras, including the Boston Pops, Montreal Symphony, and three of London's top orchestras: the Philharmonic, Symphony, and Philharmonia. He has over 40 recordings. Campbell was Professor of Music at Indiana University from 1988-2019.

Pianist John York is a winner of the International Debussy Prize and has been a frequent soloist with numerous orchestras. For 33 years he was professor of piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London 

“Clarinet playing simply doesn’t get any better than this…his tone is pure honey, his transitions between registers smooth and seamless, his intonation precise, his technical execution flawless, and his music instincts in matters of tempo,dynamics, phrasing, and interpretive expression always true to the letter and intent of the score before him. If you love the clarinet, this is a must. If you hear it and you don’t love James Campbell, you don’t love music.”  Fanfare May 2021 (Dubins)

“the highest level of artistic collaboration…Campbell’s elegance, subtlety, and refinement as a musician are exceptional. This collection holds broad appeal for its purely musical values. I have never come away as musically satisfied by a clarinet recital as I did from this one. Campbell and York deserve to reach the widest possible audience.” Fanfare May 2021 (Huntley Dent)

“James Campbell’s mastery of the clarinet is second to none. The collaboration of these two virtuosi makes this CD a must for every clarinetist’s library. Campbell’s honors and awards are too numerous to mention them all.” The Clarinet Magazine December 2021 (Lori Ardovino)

“York is phenomenal at the keyboard, combining prodigious technique and instrumental command with a profound understanding each score, composer, and moment.” American Record Guide March/April 2021 (Hanudel)


CD330 Sound samples (mp3 files) Click on the link to hear up to 35 seconds of the movement shown. (to return to this page after listening to samples, please use your browser back button)
Arnold: Sonatina  Mvt 1  Allegro con brio   Mvt 2  Andantino   Mvt 3  Furioso     Debussy:  Petite Piece     Premiere Rhapsodie     Pierne  Canzonetta     Berg: Four Pieces   Mvt 1 Massig   Mvt 2  Sehr Langsam   Mvt 3  Sehr rasch   Mvt 4  Langsam     Lutoslawski: Five Dance Preludes   Mvt 1  Allegro molto   Mvt 2  Andantino   Mvt 3  Allegro giocoso   Mvt 4  Andante   Mvt 5  Allegro Molto     Jeanjean:  Carnival of Venice     Von Weber: Seven Variations on a theme from Silvana



CD332: Clarinet Candescence.  Melvin Warner, Clarinet.  With Diane Ragins, soprano; Allan Dameron, piano; Sylvia Reynolds, CD332 cover for catpiano; Peter Middleton, flute; Jerry Horner, viola. Carl Maria von Weber: Fantasia and Rondo and Grand Duo Concertant; Igor Stravinsky: Three Songs from William Shakespeare; Krzysztof Penderecki: 3 Miniature; Donald Martino: A Set for Clarinet; Louis Spohr: Six German Songs; William O. Smith: Five Pieces. Melvin Warner is former associate principal clarinet of the Saint Louis Symphony and is clarinet and chamber music professor emeritus at Northern Illinois University. This compact disc features some of the most exciting music ever composed for the clarinet. Melvin Warner’s original release on LP was called “a real find, one of the finest clarinet recordings I have yet to hear” by Edward Tatnall Canby writing in Audio Magazine.

“In Smith’s and Martino’s unaccompanied pieces, Warner is an artist … in his element – fluid, stylish, and in complete command of the music’s considerable technical difficulties, including frequent, large shifts in register.” Fanfare Magazine UPC 009414733221