All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

558

Martin Frost, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Peter Oundjian: Mozart: Clarinet Concerto and Quintet

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Clarinetist Martin Frost's recent Weber was exceptional, warranting an appraisal of his earlier Mozart clarinet music. It is difficult to overstate the cultural value of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and Clarinet String Quintet. Both were composed late in Mozart's young life, the quintet published in 1789 and the concerto in 1791 (the year of his death). Both pieces were composed for Mozart's friend Anton Stadler (1753-1812), and were originally scored for the basset horn (also called a tenor clarinet) having a range down to the low written C below the written E of the standard clarinet's tonal range.

The Clarinet Concerto was premiered in Prague October 16, 1791 by Anton Stadler, approximately two months prior to Mozart's death. Mozart's final illness, most likely due to acute glomerular nephritis as sequelae to rheumatic fever Mozart suffered as a child, began in August 1791 progressing to his death December 5th of that year. Mozart was quite ill while composing his Clarinet Concerto (as well as his Requiem), yet if offers some of his most sunny musical thought. Only in the famous adagio does one get some hint of sadness. The clarinet quintet in the same key of A as the concerto is a very similar piece of music with an introduction that anticipates the concerto. It is no more or less sunny than the concerto, even in the slow movements.

Martin Frost chooses to use the basset horn for the concerto to great effect. The clarinetist divines from his instrument all of its rich peaty sound, most concentrated in the adagio but equally evident in the Allegro's briskly modulated transitions and section closings. Likewise the quintet, with its stripped down quality, a skeletal premonition of the concerto. Peter Oundjian's direction of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, using modern instruments, is balanced and refined. BIS's perfect sonic integration of orchestra and soloist provide the most balanced presentation of these pieces on digital to date. There are many fine performances of these works already available and it will prove hard for one to elbow its way to the front of the pack. But if one can, it is Frost's.


Track Listing: Clarinet concerto in A major, K. 622 : Allegro, Adagio, Rondo Allegro; Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, K. 581: Allegro, Larghetto, Menuetto: Trio I, Trio II, Allegretto con Variazioni.

Personnel: Martin Frost: basset horn; Amsterdam Sinfonietta; Peter Oundjian: conductor.

Title: Mozart: Clarinet Concerto and Quintet | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: BIS (Sweden)

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Why Not CD/LP/Track Review
Why Not
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 26, 2018
Read Together CD/LP/Track Review
Together
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 26, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review
Presence
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 26, 2018
Read Blood CD/LP/Track Review
Blood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 26, 2018
Read Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road CD/LP/Track Review
Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 25, 2018
Read "Emilio Santiago" CD/LP/Track Review Emilio Santiago
by Kevin Press
Published: July 30, 2018
Read "West Side Story Reimagined" CD/LP/Track Review West Side Story Reimagined
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 29, 2018
Read "Clareia" CD/LP/Track Review Clareia
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 9, 2018
Read "Lello's Italian Job Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Lello's Italian Job Volume 2
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 1, 2018
Read "Black Swan" CD/LP/Track Review Black Swan
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Vista" CD/LP/Track Review Vista
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 29, 2018