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Two Jons at Dumbarton Oaks

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Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

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Brahms Clarinet Sonatas


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Novacek / D'Rivera / Gershwin
Charles T. Downey, Clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu at Dumbarton Oaks
Washington Post, April 19, 2011
The clarinet is a chameleon among instruments, finding a habitat in classical music, jazz, the marching band and klezmer. The intersection between the first two of those was the subject of a recital by clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu on Sunday night at Dumbarton Oaks. The program included one of the Brahms clarinet sonatas from the duo’s debut recording and selections of jazz-influenced American pieces from their latest disc.

Manasse, former principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, has an impeccably smooth tone on the instrument, highlighted to mellow effect in the warm, restrained opening of the Second Brahms Sonata. Nakamatsu, who won the gold medal at the Van Cliburn Competition in 1997, matched and supported Manasse in polished tone, helping to create a sense of surging but contained passion in this autumnal work. Throughout the evening, neither player forced his instrument, aware of the intimate scale of the museum’s Music Room and focusing only on beauty of sound. [Continue reading]
Jon Manasse (clarinet) and Jon Nakamatsu (piano)
Friends of Music series
Dumbarton Oaks

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