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Scott Locke
The Clarinet, December 2014

The opening tracks of Romanian composer Serban Nichifor’s Two Dances for Andrew Simon are attention-getting and sheer fun…and Simon delivers with a no-holds-barred, carefree approach!

Cooke’s 1959 Sonata…is the most weighty, substantial work here. Andrew Simon and Warren Lee provide a well-balanced reading of this piece that asserts the themes and the counterpoint.

Andrew Simon’s “Ebony and Ivory” is to be treasured. His playing is full of personality, while precise and flawless. His musical interpretations here are well-informed, yet full of individual flair. The balance, blend and sound quality throughout the recording are top-notch. Bravo! © 2014 The Clarinet

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, May 2014

…it’s hard for me to imagine these works played with any more liquid tone, fluent technique, amazing breath control, and expressive phrasing than that which is brought to them by Andrew Simon.

This Naxos disc is…a clarinet lover’s feast, but it wouldn’t be right to conclude without acknowledging the excellent work of pianist Warren Lee. The piano parts to these works are certainly not mere accompaniments; these are duo works in the full sense of the term, and Lee proves himself Simon’s equal partner in every way. Very strongly recommended. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Henry Fogel
Fanfare, May 2014

This is a feast for clarinet lovers. Andrew Simon…plays with a warm tone, lively rhythmic pulse, charm, and wit. He presents here a wide range of music from the 20th and 21st centuries, some of it jazz- and folk-influenced and much of it truly charming.

Not only is Simon a persuasive, energetic advocate for this music, but so is pianist Lee. Theirs is a true partnership, and the excellently balanced recording and fine program notes complete Naxos’s superb production. This is a winner. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Colin Clarke
Fanfare, May 2014

This is a delightful disc, performed with real panache.

The recording, by the one man Producer/Engineer/Editor team of John Taylor, is immaculate, the balance perfectly satisfying. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Maria Nockin
Fanfare, May 2014

Simon and Lee give a lyrical rendition of these charming pieces.

The sound is pristine…and for that reason I recommend it to lovers of woodwind music. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Lucy Jeffery
MusicWeb International, April 2014

The music on this disc is like ‘the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is.’ © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

MusicWeb International, February 2014

…a disc that can be enjoyed by all those whose tastes are centred on tonal, melodic, well-proportioned music. Cooke’s and Arnold’s are the standout works, arguably, but nothing in the recital is without interest or indeed a sense of humour and warmth. Andrew Simon is a fine virtuoso, but he is also master of a very impressive tone which he applies to handsome expressive effect, even if his selection does lean towards the lighter side. Pianist Warren Lee is a poised accompanist throughout, but often much more—these are, after all, not 19th-century clarinet showpieces. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

James Manheim, January 2014

Here’s a delightful clarinet recital approaching the dance-oriented side of 20th century music from a variety of perspectives…Naxos’ recording work in Britain’s chamber-friendly Wyastone Concert Hall is top-notch. An enjoyable recital for anybody, and essential for clarinetists and their friends. © 2014 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2013

‘Ebony and Ivory’ is the title of a release that introduces to the record catalogue six 20th century works for clarinet and piano, mostly written by British composers. The largest single work comes from Arnold Cooke, a prolific composer over a very long life, who has been curiously neglected on disc. The Clarinet Sonata…mixes those influences with the pastoral qualities of British music…the work is not a virtuoso showpiece, but gains much from the smooth and lyric qualities provided by the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s principal clarinet, Andrew Simon. In complete contrast, the Sonatina from Malcolm Arnold is short, spiky and full of the cheeky humour that came into British music in the immediate post-war years…the Sonatina is full of attractive melodic invention. Lutosławski’s Dance Preludes, here played in its version for clarinet and piano, and Serban Nichifor’s Two Dances for Andrew Simon, completes a most desirable disc in which the pianist, Warren Lee, is the admirable partner. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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