The Paganini of the Clarinet
Ernesto Cavallini was extremely successful as a clarinetist and as a composer. Many even termed him »the Paganini of the clarinet,« while for others he was »the premier clarinetist of Italy and of the universe« or the Rossini and the Liszt of the clarinet. Cavallini studied at the Milan Conservatory, held the post of first clarinetist at the Milan Scala for twenty years, and then went to St. Petersburg in Russia, where during the following fifteen years he made a name for himself as a soloist and chamber musician. He later ended up returning to Milan to teach at the local conservatory for a short time prior to his death. The two virtuoso clarinet concertos heard here in premiere recordings are distinguished by very different characteristics and call for a full orchestra. Outstanding technique is required to master the sophisticated, highly demanding solo passages, and our chosen interpreter Giuseppe Porgo fills the bill. Cavallini composed other interesting works for clarinet, most of which still await examination and performance. The present recording by a young Italian virtuoso does its part to fill this gap.