View Full Version : Mozart Clarinet Quintet

2007-04-07, 04:25
I'm looking for a well recorded and well played performance of the above. Any ideas anyone?

2007-04-07, 06:25
I like the one by Le Quatuor Talich on Calliope Records #3231.

2007-04-07, 09:06
Mozart originally wrote this quintet for the "basset" clarinet, an instrument that never developed a modern equivalent. I think it's range is a minor third lower than the modern Bb clarinet. I believe that there are several points in the quartet that are typically transposed up an octave in performance to be playable on the modern clarinet. If you've never heard this quintet played on the instrument it was composed for, you are in for a treat.

The two recordings I know of with basset clarinet are:

"Three Quintets" - a recording on the Classical Express label (Harmonia Mundi's cheap! cheap! label) which is derived from a Music from Aston Magna 1991 concert. It features Eric Hoeprich, the "rediscoverer" of the basset clarinet and a very fine player. The string players include Linda Quan of Aulos Ensamble fame. So, these are all American performers and the performance is excellent. The recording sonic quality seems a little dry for my taste, though. The label number is HCX 3957059. The clarinet quintet is coupled with the horn and string quintet, K 407 and the string quintet in g, K 516. http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=51381

I see that Hoeprich has just rerecorded this piece with "London Haydn String Quartet" -- whose collective playing I don't know, although I do know Catherine Manson's. The blurb on ArkivMusic from Fanfare magazine makes this recording sound pretty good:

The other basset clarinet recording that I have features Wolfgang Meyer on clarinet and the Quatuor Mosaiques, recorded in 1992. I'm normally wild about recordings by the Mosaiques. But their playing is just a little ragged here, at least compared to the Aston Magna folks. That said, this is still a very, very satisfying recording and it possesses a lovelier, darker, richer sound than the Aston Magna recording. Wolfgang Meyer is, I believe, considered a much bigger-time player than Eric Hoeprich. Certainly, he plays the hell out of the piece here. This recording is on the Astree / Auvidis label and the # is E 8736 (and listed as "out of stock" at ArkivMusic. The clarinet quintet is coupled here with the Eb trio for clarinet, viola and fortepiano, K 498 which is a nice piece too.

2007-04-23, 19:34
I'm looking for a well recorded and well played performance of the above. Any ideas anyone?
Antony Michaelson, founder of Musical Fidelity, recorded this:
Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A, K. 581 1 Allegro 9.56
2 Larghetto 7.15
3 Menuetto 7.18
4 Allegretto con Variazioni 9.50
Brahms Clarinet Trio in A minor Opus 114 1 Allegro 12.22
2 Adagio 11.34
3 Andantino 4.54
4 Presto non assai, ma con
sentimento 8.37
Clarinet Antony Michaelson
First Violin Adrian Levine
Second Violin Kathy Andrew
Viola Stephen Tees
Cello Judith Serkin
Recording Studio Blue Heaven Studios, Salinas, Kansas
Date 10 & 11 May 1999
I have a hunch it may have been recorded by John Atkinson, the editor of Stereophile -- think you can order on the Musical Fidelity website -- I liked his playing.