A glance at the Wikipedia entry for the 24-year-old clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer makes you rub your eyes. He has attained a remarkable curriculum vitae, beginning with his appointment as principal clarinetist of the Berlin Phil. and his acceptance at Harvard. His father and older brother are both principal clarinetists with the Vienna Phil. (the family is from upper Austria). Why should such a fantastic tale stop there? Andreas has also won competition first prizes on cello and piano, and he is the first clarinetist to be signed as an exclusive DG artist. One wonders if he glows in the dark.
The origins of Philip Glass' Voices, for didgeridoo and organ was specific: a commission from the city of Melbourne, Australia, in 2001. Yet the instrumental combination works so well that it seems almost foreordained, and Glass went on to write further music for the soloist here, Mark Atkins. In this performance, the didgeridoo and organ tracks were recorded separately, in Australia and upstate New York, respectively, and in Glass' metronomic world this works well enough. Yet one hopes that this release on Glass' Orange Mountain Music label is enough to spur future live performances with both players in the same room. The addition of the didgeridoo to the relatively homogeneous texture of Glass' organ writing is dramatic, but it doesn't disturb the basic shifting fields of the composer's music. It just deepens their color and variety in an immensely attractive way.