Customer Review

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mozart Clarinet Concerto/Quintet - Jack Brymer/LSO c. Davis, 17 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Mozart: Clarinet Concerto / Clarinet Quintet (Audio CD)
I own many versions of these Mozart works, having been an amateur clarinettist myself for many years. These 2 recordings date from the early 70s and some argue they are the best versions. Jack Brymer was an outstanding British clarinettist who developed a unique style of playing: a beautifully warm and sensuous tone with a slight vibrato (quiver of the breath)) in the notes. The performances here are meticulously accurate and crisp, never woolly and fudged. He played with passion and enthusiasm and was a brilliant musician.

The Mozart Concerto, possibly the best-loved work in the clarinet repertoire, was Mozart's last complete instrumental work (1791). In the first movement, Brymer's interpretation is light and playful and the orchestra has a delightful dialogue with the soloist. With the slow adagio movement, there is another theme, this time more emotional and romantic. Classic FM has done much to popularise this movement and it's been used in several film soundtracks. The final movement is quick, near hurried, requiring impeccable phrasing, timing and intonation. Colin Davis with his beloved London Symphony Orchestra are on good form throughout and accompany Brymer with flair and a passion that almost matches his own.

In the Clarinet Quintet, Brymer is equally at home, particularly in the second, slow movement, which he plays beautifully. There are some delightful moments in this Quintet but I've not been as fond of the work as I am of the Clarinet Concerto. Prefer orchestral music, I suppose. Of all the versions, I think this one by Brymer is the best, second only to Thea King.

Very unfortunately, this recording sounds rather dated with a constant analoque tape hiss in the background. I can't help thinking they could have done a better job with the remastering. Only 4 Stars, therefore, I'm afraid. It did not spoil my enjoyment of this wonderful music, however.

I can recommend this CD....and you really can't wrong at this price.
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