Sharon Kam loves opera. More, maybe, than one would expect of a world-class clarinettist. Unless you know that she has been married for many years to an opera conductor and so feels quite at home with music drama. Then you will understand that her new album "Opera!" fulfils a dream and at the same time adds several interesting pieces to the instrument's relatively limited concert repertoire.
In any case, this recording goes far beyond what one normally expects of arrangements. This isn't a series of aria snippets with no words. Together with Andreas Tarkmann, she went through the Italian repertoire, not afraid to veer off the beaten track, and found suitable pieces that the famous arranger could tailor to Sharon Kam and her instrument. The result could set new standards.
Music by Italian opera composers comes over differently here, imaginatively adapted to the potential of clarinet and chamber orchestra, creatively combined, sometimes in suite form. This varied and thoughtfully programmed sequence of arrangements gives the clarinet centre stage, makes the instrument a prima donna, invests it with a host of different roles.
Sharon Kam receives colourful and yet sensitive support from the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn under the direction of its principal conductor Ruben Gazarian. This is the team that will soon be bringing music-lovers the programme live in concerts – Sharon Kam's Opera! programme is always at its best when enjoyed complete!