Martin Fröst is an international clarinettist, conductor and Sony Classical recording artist, renowned as one of the finest exponents of the clarinet in the world at present and has been described by the New York Times as having "a virtuosity and a musicianship unsurpassed by any clarinettist - perhaps any instrumentalist in my memory". He is widely recognised as an artist who constantly seeks new ways to shape, challenge and rebuild the classical music arena and, together with Miles Davis, the only wind soloist to have received one of the world's highest music honours; the Léonie Sonning Music Prize. The prestigious list of previous recipients includes Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky, Birgit Nilson and Daniel Barenboim. His repertoire encompasses mainstream clarinet works, as well as a number of contemporary pieces that he has personally championed, with notable commissions including Anders Hillborg's Peacock Tales and Jesper Nordin's Emerge.
As a soloist, Fröst has performed with some of the world's greatest orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra and NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. He regularly collaborates with prominent international artists, including Yuja Wang, Janine Jansen, Leif Ove Andsnes, Roland Pöntinen and Antoine Tamestit, as well as performs in international events such as Verbier Festival in Switzerland and Mostly Mozart in New York. Fröst has appeared in some of the world's most important concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Konzerthaus Berlin and he has toured in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.
Renowned for his multimedia performing projects in collaboration with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, in recent years Fröst has presented Dollhouse, Genesis and most recently Retrotopia – his latest project to perform both as soloist and conductor in a musical journey that explores new repertoire and challenges the traditional conventions of classical concerts. In recent years he has made successful conducting steps with the most important being his appointment as Chief Conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra from the 2019/20 season. Together they will focus on a music journey that explores Mozart's historic footprint in Europe through his travels. The project, set to be recorded by Sony Classical over a period of four years, will be the orchestra's first comprehensive green tour initiative, making extensive use of rail travel across Europe.
Following successful residencies in the 2018/19 season in Bamberg with the Bamberger Symphoniker and Frankfurt with the hr-Sinfonieorchester, in 2019/20 Fröst features as Artist-in-Focus with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich under the baton of Paavo Järvi. Concerts will be given in cities across central Europe, with Fröst performing one of the mainstays of his repertoire - Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto. Other notable collaborations this season include his return to the Barbican Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a recital tour in Italy with pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, as well as orchestral tours China with the NDR Radiophilharmonie and in Spain with Orquestra de Cadaqués. Guest appearances include the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Martin Fröst has pushed the boundaries of the clarinet repertoire on every front and reinvented the role of the instrumental soloist. A Gramophone Award-nominated artist, the Swede uses every recording as an opportunity to look at repertoire and performance through fresh eyes.
His latest release for Sony Classical is no different, as Fröst goes back to basics while also enacting his boldest transformation of all. With Concerto Köln, the clarinet virtuoso presents an all-Vivaldi album including premiere recordings of ‘new' clarinet concertos drawn from Vivaldi's catalogue of opera and oratorio arias.
Consisting primarily of music composed by someone other than Vivaldi and not originally written for the clarinet, one might reasonably accuse clarinetist Martin Fröst of chutzpah (at the very least) for titling his latest release Vivaldi. But some explanation is in order: the clarinet came into vogue shortly before Vivaldi died, and he only wrote five pieces for the instrument. This album is an intentionally creative and necessarily speculative answer to the question "If Vivaldi had lived long enough to see the clarinet fully mature as a solo instrument, what might his compositions for the clarinet have sounded like?" In response to that question, Fröst presents three "concertos" based on opera and oratorio arias written by Vivaldi; the orchestral accompaniment for these works was arranged (drawing on material taken from various of Vivaldi's extant works) by Andreas Tarkmann. There are also several transcriptions and even one of the composer's actual works for chalumeau, the clarinet's predecessor. Fröst and Concerto Köln all play on period instruments, and although the program ends up being a bit stingy (at around 40 minutes) it's tremendously enjoyable.
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Martin Fröst's new album is a Baroque adventure based on the question: What might Vivaldi have composed for the clarinet if it had been more fully developed? For this recording, three clarinet concertos have been newly composed, made up of music drawn from Vivaldi's most beautiful opera and oratorio arias. Performed on the mellow, song-like chalumeau, the predecessor of the modern clarinet, Martin Fröst and Concerto Köln create a wonderful symbiosis between the old and the new.
For April 28, 2020, Martin Frost - Vivaldi is the 98.7WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release.' SEE THE PAGE