Close To Home
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Brilliant performances by Michael Rowlett of music for clarinet by American composers.

The program for Close to Home began when clarinetist Michael Rowlett met two composers whose music intrigued him — Valerie Coleman and Eric Mandat. He gathered works by other American composers, finding similarities among the diverse pieces with inspiration for the compositions coming from a particular place, a moment or a memory. Michael Rowlett is on the faculty at the University of Mississippi and was a semi-finalist in the ICA’s 1998 Young Artist competition. He has appeared as a concerto soloist with orchestras in Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi and at the conventions of the International Clarinet Association. He studied at Florida State University where he received his D.M, the University of Iowa and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His collaborator on this recording, pianist Stacy Rodgers is on the faculty at the University of Mississippi.
Contents:
Leonard Bernstein, composer
Sonata
Michael Rowlett, clarinet, Stacy Rodgers, piano

Jeanne Singer, composer
Nocturne
Michael Rowlett, clarinet, Stacy Rodgers, piano

Eric Mandat, composer
Rrowzer!
Michael Rowlett, clarinet, Stacy Rodgers, piano

Valerie Coleman, composer
Sonatine
Michael Rowlett, clarinet, Stacy Rodgers, piano

Aaron Copland, composer
Sonata
Michael Rowlett, clarinet, Stacy Rodgers, piano

Steve Reich, composer
New York Counterpoint
Michael Rowlett, clarinet, Stacy Rodgers, piano

Review:
“Michael Rowlett…is one heck of a player. From the very first piece, one is struck by the extraordinary richness of his tone, particularly in the lower range where many old-school clarinetists, however facile (think Reginald Kell), normally tend to thin out. But not Rowlett. He has the kind of deep, ‘woody’ tone one normally associates with some of the best old-school jazz clarinetists like Omer Simeon (there’s a name many readers may not know), Barney Bigard, or Artie Shaw. Moreover, this CD is exceptionally well recorded, so much so that if you were in the next room and didn’t know better, you’d swear that Rowlett was actually in that room playing.” (Fanfare)

“Together (Michael Rowlett and Stacy Rodgers) have produced a wonderful CD of di-verse compositions by American composers. …Rowlett’s playing is impressive and shows great control as he does a terrific job… a wonderful and diverse program. Close to Home is very well done…Rowlett and Rodgers are an excellent duo, and they have provided the clarinet community with excellent recordings and exposure to a broad spectrum of American music for clarinet.” (The Clarinet)