John Williams Clarinet Concerto


John Williams wrote his Clarinet Concerto for Michele Zukovsky in 1991. The recording is from a live performance with John Williams Conducting and Michele Zukovsky as Clarinet Soloist. This work remains unpublished. Williams has received forty-three Academy Award nominations, making him the Academy's most nominated living person. He has been awarded five Oscars, three British Academy Awards, eighteen Grammys, three Golden Globes, four Emmys and many gold and platinum records. Principal Clarinetist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic MICHELE ZUKOVSKY has appeared frequently at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Music Center, and she has been a guest soloist with orchestras throughout the world. Ms. Zukovsky also performs regularly at the Philharmonic's Chamber Music Society concerts and she has participated in a number of premieres as a soloist with the Orchestra's New Music Group. She gave the world premiere of John Williams's Clarinet Concerto with the Boston Pops which was written for her. She collaborates with a number of chamber ensembles, most notably the Angeles and St. Petersburg String Quartets. She has appeared in New York with Concerts at the Y, Ravinia, Lincoln Center, and "Mostly Mozart" ensembles. Ms. Zukovsky tours worldwide as a chamber musician and soloist, and gives master classes throughout the world. She is currently on the faculty at the University of Southern California. She studied clarinet with her father, Kalman Bloch, a former principal with the Orchestra. Ms. Zukovsky has recorded for London/Decca, Avant, Nonesuch, and Summit records.

This fantastic recording is available for purchase on ITUNES. Other works of Ms. Zukovsky that I have produced for her and are available on ITUNES are the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, Weber Clarinet Quintet, Mozart Quintet, and the Schubert Octet, among others and there are more to come



"Anyone interested in mainstream American music should know it

Reviewer: Paul A. Snook (reviewer for Fanfare Magazine)

Excellent example of this composer's craftsmanlike approach to the concerto form. More adventurous harmonically than his better-known film music but full of inventive and sophisticated exploitation of the instrument's personalty. Performance & engineering are up to the expected standards.

"An important addition to the repertoire"

Reviewer: Marcus Paus - Norway

With his concerto for clarinet and orchestra, John Williams has certainly made an important contribution to this instrument's repertoire. The work is a beautifully crafted and highly memorable one, full of elegance and charm, characterized by an athletic yet always lyrical approach to the clarinet, pitted against an orchestra handled with Williams' signature expertise of color and texture. The concerto displays Williams' intimate knowledge of the clarinet and its literature, at times giving the concerto a quality that for Williams is typical: Instead of sounding like a pastiche of existing pieces, it becomes a piece of musical "myth", capturing perhaps even more eloquently and poignantly the aspirations and ideas of the history and tradition of clarinet writing. In many ways, John Williams can be seen as a musical mythologist, a Joseph Campbell, or perhaps more accurately, a Robert Graves of the sonoric world; a composer whose musical language seems imbued with an ancient sense of beauty and wisdom, a craft beyond mere style and technique. We should be very grateful for this CD, the only recording of the concerto to date. The concerto is another gem from John Williams' concert catalog, and is bound to find its place as an important addition to the repertoire. The concerto is accompanied by Bartok's "Contrasts" and John Corigliano's clarinet concerto, all brilliantly performed by Michele Zukovsky.


Reviewer: CD Baby (Classical Staff Reviewer at CDBABY)
While we don't normally feature albums of artists who have already "made it" and who don't necessarily need any more exposure, this album is such a gem that it can't be resisted. This disc features the personal, classical and non-film music of Hollywood's soundtrack guru, John Williams. It is quite a treat to peer into the creative life of this man and his genius in such a way; with no need for the music to serve some other art form, this work allows us to get a glimpse into the "other" sound world of this truly brilliant, historic composer. And if that wasn't enough incentive to encourage a listen, the concerto is followed by Bartok and Corigliano (also highlighting the clarinet), making this disc one of the highest profile classical treasures here.