This album is particularly close to my heart because it contains music written especially for me; the composers have paid me the great compliment of writing with my playing in mind, in some cases collaborating closely with me, in others simply prese nting me with a finished work, and in all cases creating a distinctive, English piece which makes a worthwhile addition to the repertoire for solo clarinet with orchestra.
These four composers have all also dared to write melodically whilst still managing to find new things to say. Does it take courage to write melodically? Well, yes, when you live in an age where art has to be forever stretching boundaries to be taken seriously. However English Fantasy contains music which I hope will entertain and move a contemporary audience whilst unapologetically rooting itself in the traditions of the past.
EMMA JOHNSON is one of the few clarinettists to have established a busy career as a solo performer which has taken her to major European, American and Asian venues as well as to Africa and Australasia.
She is one of the UK's biggest selling classica l artists, having sold over half a million albums worldwide. Her recent recording of sonatas by Brahms and Mendelssohn with John Lenehan was described as “definitive . . . triumphant . . .a la ndmark disc" in The Observer and follows on from her Classical charttopping successes: Voyage and The Mozart Album on the Universal label.
“Britain’s favourite clarinettist’ The Times