On Friday at 5:00 PM, legendary clarinetist Stanley Drucker took the stage for a recital in the Union Theater Concert Hall. Pianist Audrey Andrist and Stanley’s wife, clarinetist Naomi Drucker joined him for this well-attended concert.
The program began with the Sonata No. 1, Op. 120 by Johannes Brahms. The piano was placed at full-stick and Stanley stood in the crook as he demonstrated excellent control and a deep understanding of this famous work. Andrist proved to be an excellent counterpart who ebbed and flowed with Drucker’s elegant rubato.
Second on the program was Four Double Features for Two Clarinets by Meyer Kupferman. The work was composed in 1971 and it is possible (likely, in fact) that this work was written specifically for Stanley and Naomi, although that was not indicated in the program. The four movements are titled: High Tensions, New Games, Ancient Canons, and Tight Spirals. Throughout this work, Stanley and Naomi’s wonderfully matched tones were intricately interwoven in a complex and rhythmically intense texture. Not surprisingly, they played together with great ease and enthusiasm.
The program ended with Stanley and Andrist performing the Sonata No. 2, Op. 120 by Johannes Brahms. It is not often that a roomful of clarinetists is treated to a concert of such important works performed by such a prominent clarinet figure as Stanley Drucker. Although he joined the New York Philharmonic over 60 years ago, he still plays with great eagerness and conviction. He received a standing ovation at the conclusion of this concert.
–Notes by Timothy Phillips
Timothy Phillips serves as Associate Professor of Clarinet at the John M. Long School of Music at Troy University in Troy, Alabama, and manages Clarinet Corner, weekly program on Troy University Public Radio.