Newcastle Chamber Music Society: Emma Johnson and Friends
Beethoven Trio, Op.11
Brahms Clarinet Sonata, Op.120, No.1
Shostakovich Cello Sonata, Op.40
Brahms Trio in A minor, Op.114
Clarinettist Emma Johnson’s career as a concert and recording artist began in her teens after winning the title BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1984 and recording Mozart’s concerto the following year. Her work encompasses solo performances, jazz and chamber music in a variety of formats with her friends. On this occasion those friends are cellist Thomas Carroll and pianist Andrew West.
Beethoven’s piano trio Op.11 is scored for clarinet, cello and piano, although is often played by ‘regular’ piano trios with a violin. By contrast, it is violists who have appropriated Brahms’s two clarinet sonatas and this trio, written late in his life and inspired by the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld. All of these works are best heard as their composers intended. The cello sonata by Shostakovich, by contrast, was written during a brief but intense love affair, during which he temporarily divorced his wife Nina.
‘There’s a strong feeling of a group of like-minded musicians revelling in playing life-enhancing music for pleasure and as a team. I enjoyed this expert and always smiling performance [CD of Schubert Octet and Crusell Trio] very much indeed.’ John Quinn, Music Web International