This is Brahms-playing of significance, with Norway’s foremost clarinettist Hans Christian Bræin as soloist. His tone and phrasing is legendary, and at last it is available on CD, an experience that has only been possible in concerts until now. A rare musician performing what he loves the most.
A long career
Son of the Norwegian composer Edvard Flifret Bræin, Hans Christian was solo clarinet player with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for two periods in the 1970s and -90s. For ten years in the 80s he was a member of the Danish Esbjerg Music Ensemble. He is a treasured guest at such festivals as Risør, Bergen and Stavanger, captivating the audience with this rich and sensuous tone. At present Bræin holds the position of Professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and is a permanent member of the Cikada Ensemble.
The profound care with which Bræin shapes his music is also reflected in the exquisite group of musicians he has brought along for this CD. The two sonatas are performed together with the pianist Håvard Gimse, and they are joined by cellist Bjørg Værnes Lewis for the trio. Violinist Atle Sponberg leads the fantastic clarinet quintet, and together these musicians achieve Brahms playing characterized by warmth and spirit.