Has any other clarinetist made 40 CDs?

Has any other clarinetist made 40 CDs?


norman lebrecht

April 28, 2017

Cast your mind back to a golden era when labels could sell solo and orchestral performances by wind and woodwind virtuoso…. Even then, it’s hard to imagine that one label devoted 40 CDs to a clarinet player.

RCA did.

Richard Stoltzman’s 40 CDs are just about to come together in a boxed set.


  • Berg says:

    Are any of the CD’s good?

    • Suzanne says:

      Yes! His Brahms sonatas with Richard Goode (on RCA originally I think) were wonderful.

      • Adam says:

        I’m also very fond of his recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet done with the Guaneri Quartet from the 1970s. Also on RCA.

        • MacroV says:

          The 1970s Brahms was with the Cleveland Quartet and IMHO not particularly good. I think he did it again in the 1990s with the Guarnieri.

          • Berg says:

            He did twice. Once with Cleveland and once with Tokyo.
            Both quartets sound wonderful.
            I have always been surprised that Stoltzman had a successful career.

      • PaulD says:

        I’ll add the recording of the Quartet for the End of Time he did with the Tashi Quartet.

  • Joel Lazar says:

    The late Gervaise de Peyer, although not for a single label, and perhaps not all transferred to CD, made many recordings.

    • NYMike says:

      And for me, preferable to Stoltzman.

      • will says:

        Stotzman is indeed a very imaginative player. But IMHO he needs to cut down his ‘vibrato’ and use a ‘straight’ tone as his ‘default sound’.

    • Max Grimm says:

      There are also living, much recorded clarinetists. Sabine Meyer’s discography stands at over 50 recordings, with more than 30 CDs for one label (EMI).
      Martin Fröst is another, with more than 20 recordings for one label (BIS Records).

  • Peter Cigleris says:

    Copland Concerto with LSO and Tilson Thomas, is a benchmark recording. Many of the others are trash though…

  • MacroV says:

    I like Richard Stoltzman but even at his peak I don’t think he was remotely the best clarinetist around, but he was more original than many.

    That said, I do like many of his recordings, including:

    – Ingolf Dahl’s Concerto a Tre (with a Bill Douglas piece and a very decent Weber Quintet);

    – Brahms sonatas

    – Open Sky (music of Bill Douglas, repackaged number of times).

    – A Tashi Stravinsky recording (septet, 3 pieces, etc).

  • Eric Broomfield says:

    Benny Goodman, Arte Shaw, Eddie Daniels.

  • Freddynyc says:

    No mention of David Shifrin? A former principal player of the Cleveland Orchestra (mid 70s) can’t be all that bad……

    • MacroV says:

      I definitely prefer Shifrin to Stoltzman. When I first heard him in the early 1980s, I thought he was the greatest I’d ever heard. Now there are so many great clarinetists; the standard of play has risen incredibly.

  • David Naden says:

    Richard Stoltzman has recorded more than 40 CDs over several labels. Dieter Klocker has recorded over 80 CDs on the MDG and Orfeo labels…

  • Robert von Bahr says:

    And if you extend that to fantastic woodwind players in general, Sharon Bezaly, flute, has a discography of more than 40 records on one label (BIS Records) on the strength of her incredible playing and nothing else (with another 3 coming up soon). Martin Fröst and Sabine Meyer were already mentioned above. Add flautists Emmanuel Pahud, Sir James Galway, recorder players Michala Petri and Dan Laurin, oboist Heinz Holliger, all with huge discographies. Add brass players, and you have Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet, Christian Lindberg, trombone and Øystein Baadsvik, tuba, the first 2 with vastly over 40 records each and, yes, there is always place for incredible musicians, even in today’s market.

  • Tony says:

    Don’t forget Thea King who recorded a lot – Hyperion, Meridian.

    Richard recorded a fine concerto CD for RCA/BMG – Bernstein, Copland, Corigliano – LSO

  • Dileep Gangolli says:

    I’m a big fan of his. He gets knocked by clarinetists who desire a more orchestral approach but I have found his performing and choice of literature to be ground breaking and he set out on his own path without wavering from his goals. Glad he is getting this recognition in the form of a boxed set!

  • Una says:


    Another great interview done by Bruce Duffie in Chicago some time ago. Worth a read.

    For anyone interested, I have been doing transcriptions for Bruce from a distance in England for the past three years – ever since Anna Reynolds, one of my singing teachers, died. I am now going to actually meet him in Chicago in June when I’m over in America for a singing teachers’ training course with David Jones in New York. So I shall meet the man behind all these wonderful and informative interviews. And of the 150 or so I have done and continue to do, I have learnt SO much as a practising musician and about people in the music world that I had never heard of. Just great..

  • Nurhan Arman says:

    Delighted to see that RCA is issuing this boxed set. I knew Richard Stoltzman well from his California Institute of the Arts days where he was a faculty member. His performances there were always special with much élan and creativity. Besides being an exceptional musician he is also a very nice person.