CLARINET

Mackey, Whitacre, Ticheli

During the first COVID lock-down I decided to record some more multi-track pieces, but wanted to do something a little bit different. Over the last decade I’ve become increasingly more involved in the American band world, and have grown more familiar with the repertoire: if you were in a band at school you may already have performed these three pieces, or others by the composers.

These multi-clarinet versions were arranged with the fantastic percussionist Joby Burgess – we each recorded our parts at home before I edited our performances together. It has been a huge amount of fun to create, as well as a fascinating challenge for me to learn more about the production side of music.” Julian Bliss

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2021)

Johannes Brahms with James Baillieu

Julian Bliss and James Baillieu present a recording Johannes Brahms’ Clarinet sonatas, Op. 120 and an arrangement of his 4 Ernste Gesänge, Op.121 arranged by Bliss. These late works were inspired by the great clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, principal clarinet of the Meiningen Court Orchestra, without whom we would not have had this clarinet repertoire.

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2021)

I Got Rhythm – Julian Bliss Septet

Following an acclaimed tribute album to Benny Goodman, the ‘King of Swing’, the Julian Bliss Septet returns with a new album that showcases the music of jazz legends, George and Ira Gershwin, and – by popular demand – some of Benny’s compositions and much-loved tunes.

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2021)

In the Middle of Things with Fidelio Trio

Julian joins The Fidelio Trio in their return to Resonus Classics to present this album of recent chamber works by British composer Michael Zev Gordon.

Presenting a varied programme of instrument combinations, the trio and Julian present works stretching back over fifteen years, celebrating Michael’s individual and idiomatic voice along with both the fascinating and wide-ranging influences within his music.

RESONUS CLASSICS (2019)

Schubert: Swansong

Christopher Glynn’s continued series of late Schubert song cycles in English includes a moving performance of Shepherd on the Rock with soprano Sophie Bevan. The creamy clarity of both Alec Frank-Gemmill’s horn and Julian Bliss’s clarinet sound is a perfect foil for Sophie Bevan’s exquisite, rounded legato – BBC Music Magazine

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2018)

Mozart & Weber: Clarinet Quintets

Julian Bliss joins the Carducci String Quartet in performances of two seminal works – Weber’s Clarinet Quintet in B flat Major, Op. 34 and Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K.581.

Performance ★★★★ Recording ★★★★ Bliss tackles the score with a piercingly pure, vibrato less tone – BBC Music Magazine

Aesthetically sensitive and technically excellent… this is a performance that carries with it a weight of authority from all musicians – Classical Ear

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2018)

Steve Reich: New York Counterpoint

Julian Bliss joins in this year’s 80th birthday celebrations of the iconic American composer Steve Reich with a digital release of his minimalist masterpiece New York Counterpoint. Bliss performs all 12 parts on this new multitrack recording, which is available in both standard definition and as a 24-bit studio quality master.

The work is paired with a composition by fellow American composer Marc Mellits – a new arrangement of his piece Black for two clarinets and bass clarinets, also performed entirely by Julian Bliss. Considered a protégé of Reich, Marc Mellits’s unique musical style has been described as an eclectic combination of driving rhythms, soaring lyricism, and colourful orchestrations that all combine to communicate directly with the listener.

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2016)

David Bruce: Gumboots

Julian Bliss and the Carducci Quartet pair two highly contrasting works – Johannes Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet and David Bruce’s Gumboots. Bruce’s piece pivots on the contrast between its elegiac first movement and the five dances that follow it, and Bliss and the Carduccis relish the expressive variety – The Times

Clarinettist Julian Bliss and the Carducci Quartet are most sensitive and elegiac – Financial Times

[Bliss] flits seamlessly between regular and bass clarinet. The finale’s joyous barrage could almost be out of a Falla ballet – The Guardian

Here’s a double delight. First, an engaging new work that deserves a place in the Chamber repertory; second, a passionate account of Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet which can hold its head high against starrier competition – Gramophone

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2016)

The Shepherd on the Rock

A trio of leading British soloists perform a sumptuous selection of chamber music by the Romantic composers Brahms, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann and Strauss. The programme is centred around Schubert’s iconic The Shepherd on the Rock – written for the esteemed soprano Anna Milder- Hauptmann, it was to become virtually the final complete work that Schubert composed before his tragic death at 31.

★★★★ There are some lovely performances on this disc, with Tynan, Bliss and Glynn combining to make some real magic in the Schubert and Strauss – Planet Hugill

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2015)

Nielson & Mozart: Clarinet Concertos

Julian Bliss performs the Clarinet Concertos of Mozart and Nielsen – often thought of as the two greatest such works in the repertoire: twin examples of what can be achieved by composers who have been truly inspired to write for the clarinet, using its uniquely expressive qualities to produce enduring and comprehensively masterly compositions.

Alongside these Julian Bliss presents two of his own clarinet arrangements of two Mozart arias, Der Liebe himmlisches Gefühl, K.119 and Non che non sei capace, K.419.

Featured on BBC Radio 3 Record Review.

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2014)

Julian Bliss & Bradley Moore

Nearly 10 years after his debut recital recording, virtuoso clarinettist Julian Bliss returns to disc with a new programme alongside pianist Bradley Moore. Their recital combines great works (and some new arrangements) from great Russian and French composers.

Claude Debussy: Premiere Rhapsody
Jean Francaix: Tema con Variazione
Mikhail Glinka arr. Bliss: Sonata in D minor
Darius Milhaud: Sonatine, Op. 100
Sergei Prokofiev arr. Bliss: Sonata in D, Op. 94

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2014)

A Tribute to Benny Goodman

Recreating the exciting sound of swing from the 30’s and 40’s, Julian Bliss’s dynamic virtuosity leads his sextet through some of the great tunes of the swing era, staying true to the authentic feel but naturally with a modern twist.

Julian Bliss says: “I decided in the summer of 2010 that I wanted to start my own Jazz group. I enlisted the help of Neal Thornton (Piano) to help make this dream a reality. We spent months listening to every version of each tune we could find, and putting together our own versions while still being mindful of the light and fun feel Goodman captured all those years ago. We then had the task of putting the rest of the band together. We were specifically looking for musicians that had a great interest in the Swing era, and I must say we couldn’t have picked a better set of players.”

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2012)

The Ancient Question: A Voyage Through Jewish Songs

The Grammy-Award-winning artist Hila Plitmann is known worldwide for her astonishing musicianship, light and beautiful voice, and the ability to perform challenging new works.

On this disc she brings together a very personal programme that draws on her familial roots in Jewish culture and song; from traditional folk music (Five Yiddish Songs), to contemporary compositions (Bridges of Love, Tehilim and I Never Saw Another Butterfly). The disc also features the Five Hebrew Love Songs, with poetry by Plitmann set to music by the composer Eric Whitacre.

Hila Plitmann soprano
Julian Bliss clarinet
Christopher Glynn piano
Thomas Bowes violin
Andres Kaljuste viola

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2011)

Bernard Herrmann: Souvenirs de Voyage

Bernard Herrmann was perhaps one of the greatest musical all-rounders of the 20th Century. Although he is best known for his scores to perhaps some of the most iconic films ever made (‘Vertigo’, ‘Citizen Kane’, ‘Psycho’), he was also a talented composer for the concert hall, with an early career marked out by his skill as a conductor – praised by Stravinsky amongst others, who autographed Hermann’s score for his Symphony in 3 Movements with “To the excellent musician and conductor, Bernard Herrmann. Cordially, I. Stravinsky.”

Julian joins the Tippett Quartet for Souvenirs de Voyage, Herrmann’s last concert composition.

SIGNUM CLASSICS (2011)

Sabine Meyer & Julian Bliss : Krommer Double Clarinet Concerto, Spohr Clarinet Concerto Nos. 2 & 4

With the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, conducted by Kenneth Sillito.

(2007)

Julian Bliss & Julien Quentin: Music for Clarinet and Piano

Solo de concours […] shows the considerable agility this gifted artist has with his instrument. – AllMusic

(2003)

Prom at the Palace

Featuring Julian’s performance of André Messager’s “Solo de concours” live from Buckingham Palace.

(2002)