Andreas Ottensamer brings the clarinet out of the closet


Australian clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer presents his debut album ‘Portraits – The Clarinet Album’ on Mercury Classics/Deutsche Grammophon.

Released August 2 in Australia, Portraits – The Clarinet Album features concertos by Copland, Spohr and Cimarosa, along with arrangements of shorter pieces by Gershwin, Debussy and Amy Beach, a 19th century American composer. Andreas Ottensamer is accompanied on the recording by the Rotterdam Philharmonic conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Portraits – The Clarinet Album moves from the classical traditions of Spohr and Cimarosa, to the to the subtle colours of Debussy and the jazz inflections of Copland and Gershwin. The twelve tracks on the recording amount to just under 1 hour of music.

Andreas took his first stint in the pit at the Vienna Staatsoper at the age of 16 playing in the orchestra for the opera Don Giovanni. He went on to join two of Europe’s great youth ensembles – the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and the Verbier Festival Orchestra. The peak of his orchestral experience thus far has been his appointment as principal clarinettist with the Berlin Philharmonic in the past two years, along with his busy solo appearances.

Andreas has done a spot of modelling, and accepted a place at Harvard, but returned to Europe to audition for the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. After a year in Berlin, he deferred his place again when he was made principal clarinettist of the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin. Andreas and his brother Daniel have a soccer team called the Vienna Virtuosos in which Andreas plays midfielder. “We won our divisions four times in a row and now we’re in the top league of the Vienna amateur soccer league.”

Andreas Ottensamer says “This is a personal choice of pieces where I feel the clarinet’s full expressive range is portrayed. It goes beyond the standard repertoire, certainly with the arrangements, but while the three concertos form the framework, all the music is linked by similar moods.”


1.    Prelude No. 1, Allegro ben ritmato e deciso  1:50
       from Three Preludes for piano solo, arr. for clarinet and orchestra by Stephan Koncz

       AARON COPLAND 1900–1990
       Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra, with harp and piano
2.    1. Slowly and expressively – Cadenza  8:47
3.    2. Rather fast  8:14

        CLAUDE DEBUSSY 1862–1918
4.    La Fille aux cheveux de lin  2:56
        from Préludes, Book 1, arr. for clarinet and orchestra by Stephan Koncz

       DOMENICO CIMAROSA 1749–1801
       Concerto for Clarinet and Strings, freely arranged by Arthur Benjamin
5.    1. Introduzione  3:03
6.    2. Allegro  2:36
7.    3. Siciliana   2:46
8.    4. Allegro giusto   2:27

       AMY BEACH 1867–1944
9.    Berceuse  3:12
        from Three Compositions for violin and piano op. 40, arr. for clarinet and orchestra by Stephan Koncz

       LOUIS SPOHR 1784–1859
       Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra No. 1 in C minor op. 26
       c-moll · en ut mineur
10.  1. Adagio – Allegro  10:58
11.  2. Adagio   3:38
12.  3. Rondo. Vivace   6:55






























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