Reviews

“The hero of the evening turned out to be Thomas Carroll, who not only soloed in the Mozart but returned to conduct the Haydn. At the Mozart, he proved remarkable as he pushed all those swift notes in the Allegro and closing Rondo through a wooden instrument that looked far more cumbersome to control than the modern clarinet and featured a strange, bulb-like extension of Carroll’s own making. Without doubt, he controlled; he conquered the beast. The tones one heard were clear and warm, beautifully warm [...] In the inspired middle movement, the Adagio, the dominant melody seemed to embrace one’s ears and race right to the heart. Carroll gave authentic voice to the music.

In the Haydn, one of the composer’s “Paris” symphonies, he made a true ensemble of ad Libitum [...] Carroll’s command gave the Haydn Number 84 vigor and snap, a firmer sense of togetherness.”
— Peter Jacobi, Herald Times (9/1/10)

 

“Mr. Carroll was entirely admirable — sweet and agile — in the dazzling clarinet solo early in the Vivace movement of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3.”
— Zachary Woolfe, New York Times (5/26/13)

 

“Carroll carried the notes he was given with finesse.”
— Benjamin Pesetsky, Boston Musical Intelligencer (5/28/13)

 

"One can see why Heidenreich might choose to omit the Queen of the Night’s vengeance aria from his arrangements, pivotal though it is to the plot: its frisson comes largely from the fiendish coloratura fireworks demanded of the soprano, and instruments alone cannot reproduce that aspect of the experience. But nothing daunted, Thomas Carroll made his own orchestration, and its dramatic power—contrasting starkly with the other selections—was undeniable."
— Geoffrey Wietting, Boston Musical Intelligencer (9/24/13)

 

"Thomas Carroll is an expert in his field, talking quickly, precisely, and clearly, commanding knowledge of instrument makers, dates, museum collections, bore and tone hole millimeter measurements, and more.

Mr. Carroll’s musical demonstrations were the highlight of his lecture. He played an excerpt from the second movement of Mozart’s concerto, a fragment from Mozart’s Clemenza di Tito, and the solo from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, all with lovely sounds that are strikingly different from that of a modern A or B-flat clarinet."
—Sam Davies, ClarinetFest 2014 Performance and Presentation Review (8/1/14)

 

"This music, perhaps more than any other from the period, benefits from the rich, dark foundational sound of the “natural” horns and “classical” bassoons, which blend splendidly with one another. To this the slightly woody or pungent period clarinets add a certain bite, at least when played with the clear articulation favored by players Thomas Carroll and Elise Bonhivert. Performing with near-perfect intonation and unanimity of phrasing, this is clearly an ensemble that has labored hard to achieve a distinctive sound and musical character.

The Mozart serenades [...] are surely the pinnacle of this repertory, and the sextet version of K. 375 also tests each of the players, especially the first clarinet, who usually plays the leading line. In fact every part has passages as demanding as what one might encounter in a concerto. Carroll was impressive in his solo licks throughout [...]"
—David Schulenberg, Boston Musical Intelligencer (4/11/15)

 

"Movement V, Romanze/Allegretto, was patiently deployed with infinitely teased-out longing. Repeats echoed from our own time to some distant sphere. Never was heard a perfunctory phrase. And the diva duo of oboist Olson and clarinetist Thomas Carroll transcended.

The molto allegro finale was pumped and ripped, yet nothing was held back, impetuous or rushed. It was something like the mad scene of a bel canto opera. Olson again soared in stunning arcs and Carroll was practically airborne."
—Lee Eiseman, Boston Musical Intelligencer (9/17/15)

 

"The chalumeau, played magnificently by Thomas Carroll, provides obbligato to [Judith's] aria, sung to Abra, in which she mentions a turtle dove, whose call the instrument evokes better than any other instrument ever could."
—Marvin J. Ward, Classical Voice North America (10/27/15)