Idylle, Joë Christophe's new album
French clarinetist Joë Christophe is making his first CD, Idylle, with the German label Genuin Classics, exploring the shimmering colors and humorous features of the French and English repertoire for clarinet and piano.
In this selection of works from various worlds (Horovitz, Gaubert, Debussy, Poulenc, Bozza...), the clarinet demonstrates its whimsical versatility and rich palette of timbres and dynamics. In addition to this musical journey is the previously unpublished transcription of a work by composer Rebecca Clarke and the very first recording of the Three Pieces for solo clarinet by Mark Simpson, commissioned by the ARD Music Competition, for which Joë Christophe won the special prize for interpretation.
How did you meet Vincent Mussat?
"I met Vincent at the Paris Conservatory, we studied there at the same time. But our first concert was in Northern Macedonia, in a beautiful place, a nice first to strengthen the links and to want to continue playing together...!"
How did your collaboration on this album go?
"Very quickly, from our first concerts, we found a beautiful musical (and human!) connection, so when I got the proposal to make this record by the label, a sonata program with Vincent was obvious. We recorded in Frankfurt in a modern church, with very nice acoustics and an excellent piano, under the attentive ear of the co-founder of the label who was a great artistic help."
What instrument and mouthpiece do you play?
"I've been playing Privilege clarinets for quite some time now and I'm still very happy with them. I really like the space this bore provides: you can direct the air in lots of different ways without the sound getting saturated or dying out, allowing for equally varied sounds. A very wide range of colors and a good playground for the musician!
The new Echo mouthpiece designed by Selmer is for me a perfect complement to this instrument: in addition to the many qualities that one expects from a mouthpiece, this one has the additional characteristic of not obstructing the musician's intentions in terms of tone and colour. It doesn't impose anything, and it allows everything!"
What inspired you to learn the clarinet and embark on a musical career?
"Thanks to the free music school in my village I had the opportunity to learn an instrument, and the clarinet, capable of doing so many things, very quickly seduced the little boy that I was. I quickly joined the municipal band, and the mix of generations, the good atmosphere we are familiar with and playing together quickly convinced me that I would never stop making music."
With which artist and in which place would you like to play?
"There are many artists I would love to play with! A very interesting adventure would also be to go and meet the unknown: I could imagine myself deep in the depths of a mountain, trying to learn the traditional repertoire with an old hermit…"
Do you think you will ever turn to composition?
"I think I'd be more interested in the world of improvisation, which is real time composition after all!"
08-09/09 - Mozart Concerto with the Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Betzdorf and Siegen (Germany)
10/09 - Concert with the Trio Chausson, Commarin castel (France)
09/10 - Saxback Ensemble, Luxembourg
16/10 - Saxback Ensemble, Béthune (France)
18-24/10 - Musical cruise one the Rhine
29-30/10 - Saxback Ensemble, Ax-les-Thermes (France)
04-07/11 - Festival Nouveaux Horizons, Aix-en-Provence (France)
12/12 - Concert with Ensemble Borée, Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise (France)
19/12 - Recital with Vincent Mussat, Eindhoven (Netherlands)
15/01 - Quatuor Messiaen, Görlitz (Border between Germany and Poland)
26-28/01 - Concerto n°2 by L. Spohr, with Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau (Germany)
© photo credit Martin Trillaud