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Schirmer Ensemble
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The Three Pieces for clarinet solo, from the 1930s, are a first recording - a resourceful set to stand alongside Stravinsky's. The Sonatina for violin and piano has been unavailable recently and this is a sympathetic performance of a serious work that also has charm in the finale's witty waltz variation. The largest ensemble piece is the Concertino, originally written for Carl Dolmetsch using recorder and harpsichord. Vorster's [solo piano] playing is sensuously melodic and he clearly relishes the music even if there are times when there's more rubato than usual in the popular Six Preludes. But these are convincing interpretations and all his chamber music roles are, as usual, exemplary. Berlin's cello playing is fulsome in the luscious Andantino as well as in the more challenging Duo in Berkeley's later style. Altogether this is an attractive collection ... and ought to bring Berkeley's small-scale works to a wider audience.
Peter Dickinson, The Gramophone, 8/1/2005

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