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Mozart: Clarinet Quintet In A K581 (Colin Lawson/ The Revolutionary Drawing Room) (Clarinet Classics: CC0068)
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Mozart created the medium of the Clarinet Quintet K581 by means of a process that involved a number of preliminary experimental fragments, all of which can also be heard on this disc. Like the Clarinet Concerto, the Quintet K581 was intended for Stadlers basset clarinet in A, which was furnished with an additional four semitones at the bottom of the compass. Colin Lawsons boxwood basset clarinet (modelled on Viennese instruments of the period) was especially created for him in 1988 by the Cambridge maker Daniel Bangham. For the Allegro in F K580b he plays the more brilliant clarinet in C and is joined by Michael Harris (basset horn). The Allegro K516c features the extremely rare Bb basset clarinet used elsewhere by Mozart only in the virtuoso obbligato to Parto, parto from La Clemenza di Tito. Colin Lawson, described by BBC Music Magazine as the doyen of period clarinettists explores Mozarts original sound world in partnership with his colleagues from The Revolutionary Drawing Room.
Period-copy instruments by Daniel Bangham lend a piquancy both emotional and scholarly to this disc supplementing Mozart's sublime Quintet, K581, for basset clarinet in A and strings, with associated chamber fragments, two completed by the pianist Robert D Levin, one by Franz Beyer. The latter s version of the Allegro in F, K580b, brings together Lawson's clarinet in C and Harris's basset horn. The Allegro, K516c, features the rare basset clarinet in B flat. --Sunday Times, 06.01.13
A transparent fabric, notes learnt into rather than forced, and tempi and dynamics graduated to suit the phraseology form a foundation to a recreative process that spreads beyond the printed page. --Gramophone, March'13
Top Customer Reviews
It may be a bit heartless, therefore, to cavil and carp. But for me, the all-important Clarinet Quintet suffers from being over-decorated as much as it gains from being played on an original instrument. The same complaint could be levelled at the scholar who completed K581a, the version used on this recording. As it happens, I attended an all-Mozart concert last month (Birmingham Symphony Hall, 29.1.15) in which the fortepiano soloist was none other than Levin. Excellent scholar and virtuoso performer he undoubtedly is, but Levin, too, likes to embroider and freewheel - proving, I think, that more is sometimes less. Mozart's music is often at its sublime best whern simplicity and beauty combine, and Levin's fantasies, like Lawson's embellishments, can detract from the spare beauty of the melodic line.
One last word on completions and reconstructions.Read more ›
it was nice hearing it played on a bassett clarinet and Colin Lawson is a very sensitive player and made my husband think he was back in the 18th Century