The Clarinet Concerto of Mozart was one of the first pieces of classical music I purchased some 40 years ago so needless to say I love the piece and it has a particular sentimental affection for me. I have a number of recordings but i have to say I find this one amongst the most pleasing. My copy of the Penguin Guide, albeit a bit old now, refers to `meltingly beautiful accounts with all three soloists performing with the utmost distinction under Bohm who lets the music unfold in an unforced way, relaxed yet vital`. The sound comes from what I regard as the golden era, the mid 1970s and is clear but has that presence so vital in classical recordings. Overall a cracking CD which, like the Penguin Guide, I would wholeheartedly recommend.
Understated, lyrical performances that exude the carefree joy that is Mozart's signature. I like the bassoon concerto most, a jaunty performance from beginning to end, full of subtlety and showing truly consummate relationships between Zeman, VPO, Bohm and Mozart. This is a performance like no other. Sound quality is superb, and the soloist is not over-emphasised. The clarinet concerto shows the same qualities of joy and understanding. The flute concerto doesn't quite have the same exuberance, but then I'm not sure it ever does. The flute does have a lovely sound. Altogether an absolutely must-have recording.
Many fine recordings of Mozart's clarinet and (first) flute concerto are available, but I know of none better than these sublimely beautiful versions, with soloists, conductor and orchestra all on top form. There is also a "bonus" in the form of the bassoon concerto, which is both an excellent work in its own right and also a superb complement to the two more famous works here, to provide a total of hour and twenty minutes of pure listening pleasure. And don't be put off by the age of the recording - the '70s DG sound lacks nothing.
Even if you have other other versions of these works, you should acquire this one. And if only want one version, this is as good as any.
These are classic performances in the top ranking still from the many newer performances issued over the following years. The soloists let the music speak for itself with easy virtuosity and no histrionics. The Clarinet concerto in particular remains probably my favourite version of the many I have.