Isn’t This a Time? – American Music for Clarinet


Catalogue No: MSV 28553
EAN/UPC: 809730855320
Artists: ,
Composers: , , , , , ,
Release Date: September 2015
Genres: , ,
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 55:23

Ian Mitchell is without doubt one of the leading exponents of contemporary music for clarinet, both as soloist and as chamber and orchestral player. This album presents works by American composers (including the jazz legend Bill Smith in his alter ego of art-music composer) which have very individual styles and outlooks, presenting many challenges for the performer.

The works demonstrate a strong personal creativity and all are quite unusual – some using narration alongside the music and others building on existing works such as Peter Warlock’s “Sleep”. Ian Mitchell plays a variety of instruments including the Double Clarinet – and percussion, piano and voice.

Track Listing

    William O. Smith:

  1. Reflection (5:02)
  2. Peter Warlock/Barney Childs:

  3. Sleep and then Sleep Going On (13:04)
  4. Eric Mandat:

  5. Etude for Barney (2:56)
  6. William O. Smith:

  7. I. Epitaphs – Antibia (1:14)
  8. II. Epitaphs – The He-Goat (0:56)
  9. III. Epitaphs – A Soldier (1:31)
  10. IV. Epitaphs – A Bird (1:49)
  11. V. Epitaphs – Erato (1:50)
  12. VI. Epitaphs – Pan of the Fields (0:57)
  13. VII. Epitaphs – A Dolphin (2:38)
  14. Christian Wolff:

  15. For One, Two or Three People (5:27)
  16. John Cage:

  17. I. Sonata for Clarinet – I. Vivace (1:20)
  18. II. Sonata for Clarinet – II. Lento (2:00)
  19. III. Sonata for Clarinet – III. Vivace (0:58)
  20. Merle Travis:

  21. Dark as a Dungeon (1:25)
  22. Christian Wolff:

  23. Dark as a Dungeon (5:13)
  24. Isn’t This a Time? (4:40)
  25. Tom Johnson:

  26. Bedtime Stories – Nol. XII (2:18)


The Musician

Clarinettist Mitchell constantly exceeds expectations with free-spirited interpretations of contemporary repertoire. Truly special.

” —Unnamed reviewer

This is an artist who can play anything and would probably have little trouble finding some­one to record yet another Mozart Clarinet Concerto with him. Instead, he chose to record the music offered here. Don’t expect appreciation to come immediately. This is not that kind of music. But let it have its time, don’t make assumptions regarding what it should be, and let the music do what it wants to do, to quote Tom Johnson quoting Morton Feldman. The investment in time will pay dividends to anyone who appreciates intriguing new paths to explore.

” —Ronald E. Grames
The Chronicle

This avant garde CD features Ian Mitchell, who is one of the leading exponents of contemporary music for clarinet. It’s not an easy album to review as it varies so much over its 55 minutes or so. It’s not an album you can play and relax to but it is interesting and stimulating; you’ve got to approach it in the spirit in which it was made, technically demanding yet suffused with joy at being able to do it.

” —Jeremy Condliffe