Sharon Kam press reviews
So ein Abend mit Sharon Kam, der Top Klarinettistin aus Israel, ist etwas für Fans und Leute, die noch davon überzeugt werden wollen, dass Kammermusik auf hohem Niveau nicht langweilen muss.
WORKS FOR CLARINET AND PIANO
Sharon Kam (cl); Itamar Golan (pf).
Teldec (F) (I) 0630-11022-2 (56 minutes: DDD).
Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 73. Debussy: Première rapsodie. Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. Françaix: Tema con variazioni.
Debussy/PoulenclFrançaix selected comparison:
D. Ashkenazy, Lang (4/96) (PAN) 510 059
Debussy/Poulenc- selected comparison:
Meyer, Le Sage (9/92) (DENO) CO79282
There is clearly no shortage of excellent young clarinettists, as the three listed above demonstrate. Sharon Kam, winner of the prestigious ARD Competition in 1992 when she was only 21, is the youngest - two years junior even to Dmitri Ashkenazy; but in the Françaix she leaves him standing both in the atmospherically poetic and the brilliantly pert variations, conveying an infectious joie de vivre. In subtlety of tone and sense of fantasy she rivals the admirable Meyer - Le Sage duo in the Debussy (especially in the almost intangibly dreamy opening), a work that makes formidable demands not only on technique but also on a spirit of caprice. Here Ashkenazy's pianist is not the equal of her rivals, certainly not of Golan. The apparently contradictory indication Allegro tristamente of the Poulenc Sonata's first movement (the whole work is a memorial to his friend Honegger) is interpreted with insight by Kam, who brings an elegiac intensity to the Romanza, with its sudden bitter end: she is even freer than Meyer in her nuances of pace, but her tone is so seductive and her pianist so imaginative that one willingly surrenders to go along with them: their finale is a triumph.
The change of style from Gallic pungency to romantic schwärmerei for the Schumann pieces is accomplished with rounder tone and just the right amount of sentiment - affectionately lingering but not cloying; and once again the two young artists make sense of the seemingly paradoxical direction Einfach, innig. The phrasing and fine tonal gradations of the pair are much to be admired. The recording is fresh and warm, but unfortunately the microphone frequently picks up the clarinettist's intakes of breath.