David Howard… blew the sweet dickens out of Hindemith’s Clarinet sonata. His tone…is free and pure, a limpid wonder that filled the room…He also plays neatly and nimbly in ensemble, impeccably in tune, and is musically sensitive.
… David Howard…chose to emphasize [the Poulenc Clarinet Sonata’s] soaringly lyrical aspects, with the clarinetist’s tone melting resonantly through the hall.
Mozart awards the spotlight [in the E-flat Serenade, K. 375] to the first clarinet, a position filled with energy and a wealth of warm, handsomely modulated tone…by David Howard.
David Howard was the brilliant clarinetist.
…the incandescent playing of…clarinetist David Howard…provided soaring lyricism alongside impassioned bravura.
…a performer of exceptional musicality and finesse.
…David Howard’s bass clarinet made a memorable contribution…he sounded the melancholy depths of the Russian soul.
I’ve reviewed a fair number of recordings with the clarinet as the headline instrument, but I can only remember one or two that are as satisfying in as many respects as this one, and none more so. Los Angeles Philharmonic veteran clarinetist David Howard has hit every conceivable sweet spot; his playing displays multiple interpretive and technical attributes, his colleagues are equally top-drawer, his program is fascinating and varied, and the recorded sound is the finest I have encountered for a solo clarinet. Read the Full Review
[In Unsuk Chin’s “Alice in Wonderland”] bass clarinetist David Howard played what must be the longest solo for the instrument in the repertoire (he was the otherwise silent Caterpillar) with panache.
[T]here was another standout here, bass clarinetist David Howard’s long, glorious solo, spotlight and all — possibly the single-most exposure he’s ever had in his many orchestral years.
Midway in an all-Brahms chamber concert by Philharmonic members came the Clarinet Quintet, a late work not often heard, music of lavender and deep purple, shot through with burnished-bronze outcries from the solo wind player. Memories of the similarly scored work by Mozart are not out of place; nothing else of Brahms – possibly excepting the Trio with French Horn – sends forth such immediate waves of deep, penetrating beauty. Midway in the slow movement David Howard’s solo clarinet unwound its slithering melodic line across the musical spectrum; the strings answered with passionate shivers, and their moonstruck conversation continues to echo in my skull days later. That’s Brahms.