When, if ever, have you heard the clarinet played as magically as this; the pure music of the instrument given as naturally as breathing, yet recreated from an entirely novel perspective? When have you seen fingerwork as scintillating and heard the breathing as inspired—short, perfunctory and declarative, and rhetorical gasps alternating with seemingly interminable, heavenly sighs… Anat Cohen gives us tone-poems first and pieces second, her technique as unobtrusive as it is effortlessly fluent, lissom and precise. Her record company, Anzic has struck gold with Luminosa and I can only hope that such a perspective, natural and unforced talent will remain untarnished by commercial pressures. Never for a moment would I want to be without the recordings of Benny Goodman, Buddy DeFranco and Eddie Daniels, but I would give and arm and a leg for Anat Cohen’s. For the sheer memorability and musical recreation, Ms. Cohen stands alone.
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