This is Martin Fröst's second recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, following his disc made with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta Mozart: Clarinet Concerto / Clarinet Quintet in A major
. I feel rather the same about this disc as I did about the last one: it is in many ways a good recording but it doesn't quite hit the spot for me.
Martin Fröst is a brilliant clarinettist. His technique is superb and he plays with a remarkable fluency and apparent complete ease. This ought to allow him to really get inside the music and give it real emotion and inner meaning, and it is here that I think he doesn't quite succeed. In spite of all the beauty of sound, the whole thing doesn't quite hang together. Especially in the Kegelstatt Trio, the extremes of phrasing and (to me) excessive rubato in places sound to me as though he is making rather studied,insincere gestures to try to make the music distinctively his own, rather than genuinely investing it with feeling, so the whole thing lacks much real cohesion.
This is a great shame, I think, because Fröst is such a fine musician and I think his recordings of the Brahms Clarinet Sonatas are wonderful. This disc may be more to your taste than it is to mine, but I will be sticking to the magnificent Thea King version of the Concerto Mozart: Basset Clarinet Concerto/Quintet
and hoping that Fröst can bring some of the magic to future recordings that he did to the Brahms. I don't like to be critical, and others may like this more than me. Certainly the sound is lovely and, as always, beautifully recorded by BIS, but I'm afraid I can only give this a rather qualified recommendation.