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Press release date: June 2019

Belle Époque


Belle Époque
Music for Clarinet from a Golden Age
Pentatone SA-CD | PTC 5186808
Release date: August 2019 (Digital Release 16 August)

Claude Debussy (1862–1918) – Première Rhapsodie
Manfred Trojahn (b. 1949) – Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Orchestra
Gabriel Pierné (1863–1837) – Canzonetta Op. 19 (arr. Jelle Tassyns)
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) – Clarinet Sonata in F minor Op. 120 No. 1 (arr. Luciano Berio)
Charles-Marie Widor (1844–1937) – Introduction et Rondo Op. 72 (arr. Jelle Tassyns)

In a climate of peace, prosperity, freedom and scientific and cultural innovation the arts flourished in Europe during the Belle Époque (c. 1870-1914). For award-winning Belgian clarinettist Annelien Van Wauwe this Golden Age of beauty and creativity has inspired the repertoire for her debut album on Pentatone, recorded with Orchestre National de Lille conducted by Alexandre Bloch. The project is supported by Annelien’s 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and is a co-production with BBC Radio 3, which enrolled her as a New Generation Artist 2015-2017.

“I grew up in a country full of architectural gems and objects from the Art Nouveau period that exuded elegance, style, flowing lines and curves,” comments Annelien. “The French music of Claude Debussy, Charles-Marie Widor and Gabriel Pierné is so evocative of this era and is the keystone for these other contemporary European composers from Germany (Manfred Trojahn), Italy (Luciano Berio) and Belgium (Jelle Tassyns) – all countries in which I have lived and studied – whose works and arrangements refer one by one to existing pieces from the belle époque or are inspired by that style and period.”

Serenity, beauty of tone, playfulness, geniality, lyricsm … these are some of the hallmarks of music from this era and Trojahn’s Rhapsodie (in its premiere recording) is a clear homage to French music with its three sections, Rêverie, Intermède avec valse à la musette and Caprice. Enchanted by Brahms’ four-movement Clarinet Sonata in F minor (1895), Berio clearly saw the possibility of turning it into a concerto with only the addition of some newly composed music at the beginning, while the orchestration of recital works of Pierné and Widor on this album are by the young Belgian flautist and composer Jelle Tassyns.

PTC 5186808
RELEASE AUGUST 2019 (JUNE/JULY 2019 exclusively on
This album will be released as 1 Super Audio-CD and in digital formats for streaming and highresolution downloads.
Audio Resolution for digital files: DSD 64, 96k/24 PCM and 44.1k/16 PCM
LINK TO Pentatone B2B SITE:

Annelien Van Wauwe clarinet

  • Prizes and awards include joint first prize at the 61st International Music Competition of the ARD in Munich in 2012 and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2018. Joined BBC New Generation Artist scheme 2015-2017.
  • Performs regularly with leading orchestras including Bayerische Rundfunk, Deutsches Symphonieorchester, SWR Radio Symphonie Orchester Stuttgart, Münchner Kammerorchester, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the symphonic orchestras of the BBC.
  • Regular appearances at prestigious halls in Europe include Tonhalle Zurich, Bozar Brussels, Philharmonie Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin, Konzerthaus Vienna, Wigmore Hall and Concertgebouw Amsterdam, as well as international festivals such as the Lucerne Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Kissinger Sommer and Radio France Festival in Montpellier.
  • Made her BBC Prom’s debut in 2017 and in 2018 performed Mozart’s clarinet concerto at a televised BBC Prom with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Dausgaard.
  • Co-founded the Brussels chamber music ensemble “Carousel” in 2018.
  • Signed by Dutch label Pentatone in 2018. Other recordings include the sonatas by Weinberg and Prokofiev (Genuin) with pianist Lucas Blondeel, for which she won the Flemish Radio Klara Award in 2015.
  • Manfred Trojahn dedicated his Sonata V to Annelien in 2017 and Wim Henderickx has composed Sutra, a clarinet concerto based on breath and meditation for her (co-commissioned by BBT and yet to be premiered).
  • Studied with Sabine Meyer in Lübeck. Other teachers include Yehuda Gilad in Los Angeles, Pascal Moragues in Paris, Alessandro Carbonare in Rome and Wenzel Fuchs and Ralf Forster in Berlin. Studied historical clarinet with Eric Hoeprich and Ernst Schlader.
  • She is principal clarinet teacher at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp and regularly gives masterclasses.

a hugely engaging performer

The Arts Desk

one of the most exciting and original clarinettists of her generation

BBC Music Magazine

Van Wauwe achieved something unexpected with it [Mozart Clarinet Concerto]. Her approach was prompt and the tone of the instrument incredibly smooth. The articulation was so low-key that the roundest richest sound rang out. The second movement had a vocal almost operatic quality to it. I adored it.

Jon Jacob, Thoroughly Good Blog