There are few classical musicians who have gained name recognition beyond the sphere of aficionados of that form. When they have, it has usually been because they have successfully “crossed-over” to work in more popular genres.

Certainly, renowned clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, who performed in Portland on Saturday afternoon, fits the mold, having worked in jazz and pop music with some regularity. But, for his concert at Hannaford Hall, he mostly favored Old World sounds in a program heavily weighted toward the Romantic.

Seated throughout the scheduled program, Stoltzman conveyed the relaxed confidence of an established master. He’s been called a showman and he is, but in a subtle manner that gradually establishes the charisma within his style and person.

He was joined by pianist David Deveau and soprano Sarah Shafer for two works that showcased the up-and-coming vocalist and were a pleasure to experience.

Spohr’s “Seches Deutsche Lieder, Op. 103,” set a high bar for the rest of the afternoon. Everything seemed to fall into place for this work by the 19-century composer who is still gaining recognition. The youthful Shafer brought the words to life (even if many had to consult the translations in the printed program).

Shafer, in a long burgundy gown, returned later to join Stoltzman and Deveau for Schubert’s “Der Hirt auf dem Felson, D. 965.” It’s a beautiful piece, with some nice flourishes for the clarinet. But, perhaps because it came after a rousing Brahms work, it didn’t quite shine as much as it might have.

The Brahms “Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1” was an unexpected delight, with Deveau and Stoltzman in fine form.

The 20th-century got its due with a rendition of Bernstein’s “Sonata for Clarinet and Piano.” In the midst of all the Romanticism, the piece’s modernist harmonies and jaunty rhythms came to the fore. One could sense Stoltzman’s pleasure in cutting loose on this 1941 piece.

An encore of “Amazing Grace,” with Stoltzman wandering the stage while offering a soulful filigree to the well-known vocal lines, sung beautifully by Shafer, was a delight and made one wish for a return visit by the master for a wider-ranging program.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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