Clarinet Rhapsody

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Excerpt from Clarinet Sonata, Allegro con Fuoco, Francis Poulenc

clarinet, Iceland Rio, Clarinet Rhapsody Ron-Chris Rehearsing Ron




Music-Web International Review



The Clarinet, ICA review

The CD represents all the music played by Christine MacDonnell from fairly standard repertoire.  It is all presented in the most professional way by a stellar clarinetist who clearly knows the music and plays it with outstanding control of all aspects of the instrument as well as the repertoire.  She plays with a beautifully singing sound, has incredible consistency throughout and no aspect of the technical demands of the pieces is beyond her grasp.  She plays them all with great ease and makes them all sound easy, perfectly in control, accurate and completely within the styles indicated.  It is a wonderful recording of pieces we all know and definitely worth a listen for anyone looking to hear these warhorses of the clarinet repertoire.
Steve Cohen, Northwestern University

Having listened to Ms. MacDonnel’s CD entitled “Clarinet Rhapsody”, I was impressed by her commanding technique and lovely tone quality. This is clarinet playing at a high level.
Steve Freeman, Bass Clarinetist, New York Philharmonic (1966-2009)


I enjoyed it greatly. Christine MacDonnell is  an extremely musical person and am impressed by her sensitivity to the music.
Roger Salander, Vienna Conservatory 


Thanks for the CD.  You were always a fine musician and clarinetist. Keep up your good work.
Stanley Drucker


You sound terrific. I especially like the  Poulenc 3rd movement. Bravo!
Laura Flax


This CD by Christine MacDonnell is an outstanding combination of a lovely and consistent tone, flawless technique, beautiful and clearly-defined phrases, skilled interpretation, and overall command of the instrument. Accompanied by the talented pianist Ron Levy, MacDonnell also performs with unfailingly solid intonation. From the virtuosity of Peregi Verbunk, through the superbly-paced and fluid Premiere Rhapsodie, the striking phrasing of the Schumann Fantasiestücke (notice in particular the gorgeous releases at the end of each phrase), the perfect blend of whimsy and pathos in the Poulenc Sonata, and the delightful (but all too infrequently-heard) Waterson Morceau de Concert, this recording is a real gem. The evenness of tone between registers, especially in the Debussy and Poulenc, is nothing short of enviable; there is not a moment during this CD where you doubt that MacDonnell is in complete control of both the clarinet and the performance. A great addition to the clarinet recording catalogue!
Chuck Willet, US “President’s Own” Marine Band


The musicianship and production quality of this work is truly inspired. The Schumann piece was deftly handled and the Poulenc was some of the best phrasing and styling I have heard in recent memory. This cd is a must-have to add to the repertoire of any serious clarinet enthusiast or student, and would certainly make a perfect gift for any aficionado of any of these composers’ works. Ms. MacDonnell is a truly gifted artist whose work shouldn’t be missed, and I cannot emphasize enough how truly delightful it is to experience these classical compositions in the hands of such a capably
gifted artist and performer. A feast for the imagination to be enjoyed in my home for many years to come.
Timothy MacDonnell


I love all the pieces, but especially the 3rd movement of the Poulenc Sonata, Allegro Tristamente. Its the best I have ever heard! Prior to this recording, I was not familiar with music by Weiner, however, the Peregi Verbunk is fun and energetic. I am recommending this CD to all my students and colleague. Truly a rare find for all studying the classics.
Amazon reviewer


Amazing Clarinet performance and great programming. Included in this album are three major staples of clarinet recordings works by Debussy, Poulenc and Schumann. Christine MacDonnell possess excellent technique and virtuousness abilities, clear sounding, without any extraneous sounds. I love the playful nature of Peregi Verbunk and the light flair of James Waterson. The Sonata by Poulenc has good phrasing with all its contrasting. I especially moved by the dreamy Frantasiestuche by Schumann. I truly enjoy every aspect of this programming and musical interpretations of the classics.
Amazon reviewer


I listened to your CD this week and was really impressed, both with the playing and with the recording quality. You are sounding terrific! I think my favorite cut was the last movement of the Poulenc- I can’t remember ever hearing it played this well.
John Reeks, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra