Vier Male, pieces for solo clarinet (2000)String Quartet no.4 (1980-81)
Four Studies for clarinet quintet (2002)
Marino Formenti (introduction/piano)
Jörg Widmann (clarinet)
Ulrich Isfort, Annette Reisinger (violins)
Aroa Sorin (viola)
Matthias Diener (cello)
Jörg Widmann’s increasing renown as a composer – indeed a pupil of Rihm – should not obscure his status as an excellent clarinettist. The opening work for solo clarinet offered ample evidence, should it have been required. Not only did Rihm’s demands hold no difficulties for Widmann; he shaped the Vier Male as if they were repertoire pieces. (They probably are for him.) Well contrasted in traditional fashion – this might almost be a sonata, or at least a set of Second Viennese School-style pieces – the second piece, ‘sehr langsam, wie aus weiter Ferne,’ came across as the most emotionally satisfying: a slow movement that accomplished something not entirely different from what Bruckner might have recognised. The first movement offered considerable use of the further ends of the clarinet’s range, without ever sounding extreme for the sake of it. Doubtless that was a matter of both composition and performance, extended techniques used sparingly. This is no Berio Sequenza.