About John Reeks:
John Reeks grew up in the “Lower Ninth Ward” of New Orleans in a family filled with generations of musical and graphic artists. He has played orchestral music professionally for over 30 years. He has also worked with the San Antonio Symphony and the orchestras of the Santa Fe and Glimmerglass Operas. He was a member of the Spike Jones Band when that group was revamped in 1992.
John plays Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Saxophones in the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. He is one of the founding members of the Philharmonic and has served as its President. He has held the position of Clarinet Instructor on the faculty of Loyola University for fifteen years. John is married to fellow LPO clarinetist Stephanie Thompson. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist on clarinet and plays on Backun barrels and bells.
John has recorded with artists ranging in diversity from Randy Newman to Nine Inch Nails. In addition to the works heard on this disc, John has also presented the U.S. premiere of Dietrich Erdmann’s Concerto for Bass Clarinet (with the Louisiana Philharmonic) in February, 2005, and last year’s world premiere of Stephen Dankner’s multi-media work entitled Adagio Appassionata: New Orleans, August 29, 2005.
A word about the music from the orchestrator:
Every clarinet player, professional or non-professional, can enjoy playing music written by the great masters of all time: Bach Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms. But because the birth of the clarinet occurred late in the history of music, the number of works written for clarinet by these masters is very small. While the the amount of music written for other solo instruments (violin, flute, keyboards, etc) by the above mentioned composers could fill the Empire State Building, the works for clarinet range from nothing to miniscuality: three by Mozart, one by Beethoven, and four by Brahms. My intention in orchestrating the works on this CD is to increase the literature for clarinet from the classical period and to enhance the composer's countrapuntal genius and instrumental colors by transferring the piano part to a string quartet. This, I feel, allows the full depth of the inspiration and greatness of the music to come through.