Julian Bliss and the Carducci Quartet pair two highly contrasting works – Johannes Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet and David Bruce’s Gumboots.


Written for bass clarinet and string quartet, David Bruce describes the origins of his work Gumboots:
“… it was born out of the brutal labour conditions in South Africa under Apartheid, in which black miners where chained together and wore Gumboots (wellington boots) while they worked in the flooded gold mines, because it was cheaper for the owners to supply the boots than to drain the floodwater from the mine. Apparently slapping the boots and chains was used by the workers as a form of communication which was otherwise banned in the mine, and this later developed into a form of dance. If the examples of Gumboot Dancing available online are anything to go by, it is characterised by a huge vitality and zest for life. So this for me is a striking example of how something beautiful and life-enhancing can come out of something far more negative.”

What people are saying

"Bruce’s piece pivots on the contrast between its elegaic first movement and the five dances that follow it, and Bliss and the Carduccis relish the expressive variety." – The Times, April 2016

"Clarinettist Julian Bliss and the Carducci Quartet are mot sensitive and elegaic." – Financial Times, May 2016

"Julian Bliss…flits seamlessly between regular and bass clarinet. The finale’s joyous barrage could almost be out of a Falla ballet." – The Guardian, May 2016

"The dances are joyful and full of energy, the clarinet soaring above and darting along with the strings with ease. It sounds like such a fun piece to play, and this is so apparent in Bliss’s playing throughout Gumboots." – NE:MM, May 2016

"Bruce has produced a very accessible 20-minute piece, with a slow 10 minute introduction and the sex often exhilarating dances. If not exactly easy listening, this is nevertheless a piece to which you will want to return, which is not always the case with contemporary music." – Classic FM, May 2016

"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, June 2016

4* – "Julian Bliss and the Carducci Quartet perform the Brahms with a lovely combination of lyricism and sense of flow, giving it a relaxed autumnal glow." – Planet Hugill, June 2016

"I can confidently predict that no one will be disappointed by this Brahms." MusicWeb International, August 2016

Julian Bliss clarinet

Carducci Quartet

Release date:15th Apr 2016
Order code:SIGCD448
Barcode: 635212044827

  1. Gumboots: Part One – David Bruce – 11.35
  2. Gumboots: Dance I – David Bruce – 2.2
  3. Gumboots: Dance II – David Bruce – 1.28
  4. Gumboots: Dance III – David Bruce – 1.56
  5. Gumboots: Dance IV – David Bruce – 2.59
  6. Gumboots: Dance V – David Bruce – 2.51
  7. Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115: I. Allegro – Johannes Brahms – 11.56
  8. Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115: II. Adagio – Johannes Brahms – 9.52
  9. Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115: III. Andantino – Johannes Brahms – 4.26
  10. Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115: IV. Con moto – Johannes Brahms – 8.48