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Title - 'New Era'
Artist - Andreas Ottensamer

For those not in the classical know, Andreas Ottensamer is an Austrian clarinetist and is the principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic. Ottensamer commenced his musical studies in 1999 on piano in his hometown and then at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, on violoncello with Wolfgang Herzer and then from 2003 clarinet with Johann Hindler.

Ottensamer is also enrolled as a student at Harvard University in the United States. Ottensamer first gained his orchestral experience as substitute clarinet in the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic and is a former member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra.

In October 2009, he was a fellow of the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. From July 2010 to February 2011, he was solo clarinetist of the German Symphony Orchestra, Berlin and since March 2011 he fills the position of solo clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic.

The first prize winner of several competitions with the instruments of clarinet, piano and cello, Ottensamer has performed as soloist and chamber musician worldwide with partners such as the Vienna Virtuosi (members of the Vienna Philharmonic), the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and performers including Leif Ove Andsnes, Angelika Kirchschlager, Julian Rachlin and Yo-Yo Ma.

Now, brilliant Clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer presents a dazzling selection of the clarinet's early repertoire from 18th Century Mannheim on the aptly entitled New Era. Inclusive of works by J. and C.P. Stamitz, Mozart and Danzi the dazzling new album also features duets with Albrecht Mayer and Emmanuel Pahud, two of the great wind soloists of our time; and Ottensamer's friends and colleagues at the Berliner Philharmoniker.

1-3. J. STAMITZ Clarinet Concerto in B flat major
4-6. DANZI Concertino for Clarinet, Bassoon and Orchestra in B flat major op. 47
7. MOZART "Se viver non degg'io"
8. DANZI Fantasy on "La ci darem la mano"
9. MOZART "Batti, batti, o bel Masetto"
10-12. C. STAMITZ Clarinet Concerto No. 7 in E flat major

Ottensamer is joined by the Kammerakademie Potsdam for this recording and along side each other the recording is as strong as anything this young man has ever done, in my humble opinion. Beautiful sweet clarinet sound and projection combine to bring forth an impeccable clarinet technique here on New Era.

Ottenshamer's performance is smooth as silk, his control of micro-dynamics is truly remarkable. From start to finish, I found this album a highly enjoyable listening experience and I know you will also. Ergo, I recommend New Era to all lovers of classical clarinet work the world over for this is as good as it gets. Of that, have no doubt.