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Reviews

“This is a truly lovely disc of overwhelmingly tuneful and superb music given a refreshing extra dimension in these brilliant transcriptions.”
   MusicWeb International, Steve Arloff

“Cohler plays with a gorgeous sense of legato, and pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite is well-attuned to Schumann’s idiom…Cohler’s playing is exemplary—his control, phrasing, and technique are faultless…Cohler plays with a vibrant, supple sound colored by a light vibrato and reminiscent of that of the late Harold Wright—not surprising, since Wright was Principal Clarinet of the Boston Symphony when Cohler was a student in Boston, and in fact was one of his teachers. He plays with complete technical command…the 36-page booklet that accompanies this CD…provides extraordinarily detailed and well-researched notes...The sound of the CD, as we have come to expect from Ongaku, is an ideal balance of presence and ambience. In his various capacities as transcriber, performer, annotator, and producer, this project is a great credit to the talents of Jonathan Cohler. Recommended.”
   —Fanfare, Richard A. Kaplan

“inspired musicianship and excellent technique…He fills each score with warm, sincere lyricism; and he grabs the listener with great charisma and vigor…Vitkauskaite is very much his equal, rendering the music with the poise, prowess, and expressive nuance of an experienced soloist.”
   —American Record Guide

“It is always a pleasure to review a clarinet CD where you can forget about the clarinet and just enjoy the music. Jonathan Cohler’s new recording, Romanza, is such a CD…Cohler’s playing on this CD is marvelous. His tone is light and flexible, and the intonation is impeccable throughout. The ease of the high register passages in the Prokofiev sonata is particularly impressive…Cohler’s technique and articulation are solid as a rock, making it possible for the listener to focus solely on the wonderful music-making that is at the heart of the recording. The Schumann works are played with perfect rhythmic flexibility, and the devilishly difficult passages in the Prokofiev seem to pose no problems whatsoever. In fact, the Prokofiev performance here is the most convincing and satisfying I have heard.
    I would be remiss if I did not praise the first-rate playing of pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite, whose refined musicianship and collaborative skill are more than amply demonstrated on this CD. The recording quality itself is excellent: very smooth, well balanced and faithful to the sounds of both clarinet and piano. Also worth mentioning is the extensive booklet (English only, and 35 pages!) written by the performers, which is thoroughly researched and provides not just program notes, but new, insightful information about some of the works.
   —The Clarinet Magazine

“beautifully put together transcriptions…radiant tones…Vitkauskaite takes full advantage of the opportunities for virtuosity. [Cohler] and Vitkauskaite play this Classically grounded modern sonata [Prokofiev] with a robust approach and consummate virtuosity.”
   —Maria Nockin

 
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