The first time the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra played Mozart’s bittersweet Clarinet Concerto, in 1939, the soloist was Benny Goodman. Swinging cat though he was, I can’t imagine Goodman playing the piece with any more soul than what we heard Saturday in Kleinhans Music Hall, with Ricardo Morales doing the honors.
There must be a million ways to approach this concerto, considering all the inflection and expression the clarinet is capable of, and the various moods of various instruments. Morales has what seems to me to be a unique style.
At least I have never heard anyone play the concerto quite the way he did. I have never heard such quiet in the piece. At times Morales sounded as if he were barely breathing, and yet the notes were there, pure and precise. It was a glorious thing to hear. Read the rest of the article.