clarinet | The Americas

José Franch-Ballester tossed André Messager's Solo de Concours off with aplomb, playing with a reedy tone and with brilliant technique. He is a natural onstage...he is also a musician of some depth. He gave a poised account of [Brahms' Sonata No. 1 in f minor]...Mr. Franch-Ballester played with technical wizardry and tireless enthusiasm.

The New York Times

Franch-Ballester's easy manner and playing made it all high art and highly entertaining...Not a false note from this young man, whose control of line, nuance and hush are superior.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Young Concert Artists series has a winner: He is José Franch-Ballester...he has smooth line and ample Chausson's Allegro he displayed his chops - serious chops...we should hail his emergence...

The New York Sun

Clarinetist José Franch-Ballester is a real find, a young man with a fabulous sound that reminds one of the last days of the all-wooden instrument in the early part of the last century. He has the ability and the good sense to project in several different voices, including sweetly nostalgic, breathily passionate, and busily humorous. His introduction of the main theme of the Adagio [of the Schubert Octet] was the high point of the evening.

The New York Sun

He has all the tools, including a multiplicity of sounds, gobs of technique, and a sure sense of music. On top of that, he has a charming stage presence...[he] was so songful, so relaxed, you could have floated away...Mr. Franch-Ballester simply put on a clinic. Of what? Of musicality, of technique, of savoir-faire, of dazzle, of taste. He was slick, sly, nifty, elegant, jazz-tinged (without being jazzy). Where appropriate, he was ultra-, ultra-French...a virtuosity and zest not to be believed...He made his instrument talk, growl, wail, and sing. Pete Fountain in his prime could not have bettered this playing. And the recital as a whole was performed at the highest level. Mr. Franch-Ballester should be selling out Carnegie Hall.

The New York Sun
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