To say that Martin Fröst‘s SPCO debut last month was an exciting performance may be somewhat of an understatement. The Star Tribune‘s Kristin Tillotson observed that “audiences were so excited they looked as if they might turn cartwheels in the aisle.”
Afterward, a number of people asked us when the concert would be available in our Listening Library. With the help of our fantastic partners at Classical MPR, we just added Fröst’s performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto to the Listening Library, along with a breathtakingly frenzied encore: a setting of klezmer dances by Martin’s brother Göran Fröst. (The rest of the concert—Grieg and Beethoven—will be available later.)
As Pioneer Press critic Rob Hubbard wrote:
Some classical pieces are such crowd pleasers that standing ovations are almost inevitable. But, if you’re lucky, you’ll sometimes encounter a performance of one of those works so full of imagination, spirit and technical skill that simply standing and applauding enthusiastically seems faint praise. If only a leaping or flying ovation were possible.
Such a performance was the interpretation of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto presented by soloist Martin Frost and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra…. Yes, it’s one of the most beloved works in the classical repertoire, so it often inspires standing ovations purely out of affection. But the Swedish clarinetist had such a sweet, smooth caramel tone and full sound across the ample range of his extended “A” clarinet that this became an exceptional interpretation, complemented splendidly by the SPCO’s expertise with Mozart.
And Frost was a delight to watch, a physically expressive player who moves about like a snake charmer or dancing pied piper. … Throw in an adrenaline rush of an encore — a breakneck-paced piece of klezmer — and you have a marvelously satisfying concert that might be one of the season’s most memorable.
It was indeed a memorable performance, and we hope you enjoy hearing it again.