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Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, January 2013

The disc opens with a short chamber work Night Fantasy by Dorothy Rudd Moore. It is a wonderfully evocative work conjuring up the spirit world. The clarinet first of all weaves a beautifully simple tune in the first movement, Largo, and then, with spiky rhythms, dances Puck-like in the second effusive and sparkling Allegro. The second short piece is taken from a larger chamber work and was arranged by the composer for clarinet and piano. It is a wonderfully playful piece in which both the clarinet and piano duet, almost mirroring each other in every note.

Clarence Cameron White’s Basque Folk Song is a wonderfully descriptive piece with a simple beauty that is enchanting.…Undine Smith Moore’s Introduction and Allegro is another delightful work that, like the others, though short in length, makes up for it in the wealth of ideas within its brief span.

A complete change of tempo comes next with Quincy Hilliard’s Coty which is in three short movements. It is a gorgeous song without words that allows the clarinet fully to exploit its most attractive notes with a lovely piano accompaniment.

Soul Bird by Todd Cochran is beautifully soulful. It perfectly captures the nature of a bird as the clarinet awakes and flies around against the background of the piano before finally resuming its sleep.

The final piece on the disc is a really attractive arrangement of Amazing Grace attributed to H. Stevenson about whom nothing is written in the notes and about whom I could find nothing anywhere. The arrangement brings out the best elements of the tune and allows you to hear it afresh in a charming display of the clarinet’s attributes.

Marcus Eley has done a great service to African-American composers. He is a brilliantly talented advocate for his instrument who successfully exploits everything a clarinet can do while Lucerne DeSa is an extremely sympathetic partner. Together they have created a disc of unalloyed joy. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Kara Dahl Russell
The WSCL Blog, December 2012

Eley focuses on music for clarinet and piano by African-American Composers. A mixture of very melodic pieces and…some challenging modern chamber works as well. A gift of music that can also be a thoughtful exploration of ethnic identity and accomplishment as well. © 2012 The WSCL Blog Read complete review



Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, December 2012

The music thrives with life, whether in the formal abstract lines of Dorothy Rudd Moore or Alvin Batiste, or more free‑form escapades. There are lyrics with tunes of indescribable sweet beauty: a Basque Folk Song by Clarence Cameron White, a Pastorale from Samuel Akpabot’s Scenes from Nigeria. Todd Cochran’s Soul-Bird soars transcendent above them all, at eight minutes the longest piece on the disc; it is well deserving of the honour.

Throughout [‘But Not Forgotten’], Eley applies his pure, limpid tone eloquently in music of a varied range of styles; perhaps the most personal playing comes in Joplin’s sad Weeping Willow rag, or in a lovely arrangement of Amazing Grace.

Add in Lucerne DeSa’s full‑bodied, elegant playing and the gratifying natural acoustic at Endler Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa’s Western Cape Winelands, and the result is an exceptional musical experience in every way. The booklet‑notes are documentary in authority and the sound is of the highest audiophile quality. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, September 2012

As the title suggests, this new CD brings together music by composers ranging from the slightly neglected to the completely ignored. As a matter of fact, the majority of the pieces in this collection get their world première recording exposure on this CD thanks to the hard work and dedication of clarinetist Marcus Eley. It presents hidden musical gems from composers spanning a time period from 1868 to the present day, from ragtime to the purely impressionist.

The moods and styles range from the lyrical and evocative Basque Folk Song in which Marcus Eley clearly demonstrates the clarinet’s singing quality, to the technically challenging Episodes where he probably doesn’t even have time to come up for air. From the traditional form of the Romance to the quirky adventurous freedom of Coty, both Eley and pianist Lucerne DeSa easily shift gears and comfortably get into character.

Marcus Eley knows when and how to make the clarinet charm, dance, sing and cry. His versatile take on all of these widely different pieces makes this an enjoyable collection. The recorded sound itself by Sono Luminus…is warm and intimate. © 2012 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review






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2:37:20 PM, 17 September 2014
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