Gustav Mahler Songs

5 Songs for clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano arr. by M. UCKI

I. Oft denk´ ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen! from “Kindertotenlieder”
II. Rheinlegendchen from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”
III. Verlorne Müh’ from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”
IV. Lob des hohen Verstands from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”
V. Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen from “Rückert-Lieder”

Recording highlights

I know, there are tons of recordings of the everybody’s darling Mozart clarinet concerto! But! If you are serious and studious, you will find some new aspects. For example: If you play with a small, but agil ensemble, it is much easier to show the gestures of the music, without forcing it. To play with a Basso continuo group – in our case with pianoforte – what was common in the times of Mozart, makes the recording more colourful and interesting. Masato Suzuki was a great partner and we had a lot of fun during the recording days. That’s why we chose to play some songs by Mozart adapted for clarinet and piano.
Andreas Spreer is one of the best recording masters I know. The TACET equipment, with his old Neumann tube microphones is incredible. The musicality feeling and incorruptible hearing of Andreas is legendary. It is again a great TACET production.
Many thanks to my beloved colleagues from the Ludwig Chamber Players and the SWR Symphony Orchester. It was a pleasure! Not to mention the outstanding texts by Katharina Eickhoff and the wonderful booklet design by Toms Spogis.

Information about this production, excerpts from the booklet by Dirk Altmann

 Mozart’s Viennese years from 1781 were characterized by a great spirit of reform arising from the revolutions in America and France, an aspiring bourgeoisie and secularisation, along with numerous social reforms under Emperor Joseph. The Age of Enlightenment reached its peak in 1789 with the Declaration of Human and Civil Rights in the French National Assembly. Mozart understood like no other how to capture this social shift in his compositions. He was the most fashionable artist with the Emperor, at the royal court, in bourgeois salons and amongst street musicians. Neither later composers nor the pop icons of today have achieved such popularity among all levels of society.
With Kei Shirai, our Japanese-Viennese concertmaster, we have tried to make Mozart’s euphoria and sense of fun at disrupting traditional ways of making music audible in each bar, with each phrasing and articulation. In the quintet, the clarinet sweeps away the classical phrase introduced by the venerable string quartet right at the beginning with a “Haydnesque joke.” After that, it torments the first violin, makes demands of the other instruments in terms of dynamics and agility, only in the next bar to blend quite naturally with the string sound. In the concerto, the clarinet takes the place of a small opera ensemble, from lyrical soprano cantilenas, through virtuoso mezzo coloraturas, to a laughing commentary in the bass line. This is really not an end-of-life piece. We have consciously based the orchestral forces for the concerto on the string strengths passed down to us from the Prague Opera Orchestra. It seemed plausible to us that Stadler’s orchestra at the premiere could have been formed of 3 first violins, 3 second violins, 2 violas and a bass group. At that time, continuo playing was still common practice and so we added a pianoforte to the cello and bass. I would like to thank Masato Suzuki for his wonderful ideas and inspiration, which made the recording sessions a real pleasure. On a whim we decided to round off this CD with the two songs K. 523 and K. 524. I am also grateful to my colleagues in the SWR Symphony Orchestra. With them I was privileged to go through the “enlightened” school of Sir Roger Norrington, and the foundations of this recording were laid in the many years of his conducting at the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart

Aoyama music award

2024/ March 02.

Barocksaal Kyoto, Japan

My pianist Prof. Mako Okamoto and I received the Aoyama Music Award for our concert with the programme "Traumgekrönt" on 18 March 2023. The award ceremony will also take place on 2 March 2024 in the Kyoto Baroque Hall.
Many thanks to Laura-Erika Nakamura from Josef Woodwind Manufacture, who took great care of the concert organisation.
The Aoyama Music Award is a prestigious Japanese music prize that is awarded once a year. The winners are honoured for their achievements and their potential for the further development of music.
The prize is endowed with JPY 2,000,000.

September/29 Concert Chișinău

Weber clarinet concerto no. 1

2023/ September 29. 18:00 Palatul Republicii Chișinău, Moldova
At the end of September, I will hand over an oboe as a donation from the SWR Symphony Orchestra to the Philharmonic Orchestra in Chișinău, Republic of Moldova. As a musical greeting, I will perform the Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor by C. M. von Weber with the orchestra at its season opening.

Mountain City Summer 2023

Festival Bergstadtsommer

2023/ September 02. - 09.
Sankt Georgen im Schwarzwald

This year, my long-time chamber music partner Gen Yokosaka (cello) is expected at the Bergstadt Summer. In addition to works by Elgar and Dvorak at the orchestra concert, we will play some of my arrangements of Johann Strauss, Leos Weiner and Kurt Weil at the opening concert. We have invited Susanne Zagar-Swiridoff as a current composer.

Traumgekrönt in Kyoto

Recital with Mako Okamoto, Piano

2023/ March 18. 17:00 Barocksaal Kyoto, Japan
My romance journey begins in the nice Barocksaal in Kyoto

Donaueschinger Musiktage 2023

Figaro with Kyogen Theater

10.03. Osaka12.03. Tokyo


With my Swiss wind colleagues, the KlangArt Ensemble, we are part of a performance of “La nozze de figaro”, which includes four different Japanese and German art forms.