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Reviews: Wolfgang A. Mozart: Clarinet Quintets

The MHS Review 399 VOL. 12, NO.3 • 1988

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The New Records (May 1985)


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Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581; Clarinet Quintet Fragment in B-flat Major, K.516c (Completed by Duncan Druce); Quintet Fragment in F Ma­jor for Clarinet in C, Basset Horn and String Trio, K. 580b (Completed by Duncan Druce). Alan Hacker, Clarinet; Salomon String Quartet. DDD; TT= 60:35

Mozart's Quintet for clarinet and strings has long been a favorite of mine, and there are several excellent recordings available. However, this release from Amon Ra is the first to my knowledge to utilize period in­struments. The artists are familiar to devotees of authenticity: the Salomon Quartet has distinguished itself in several of the Haydn quartets for Hyperion; and Alan Hacker has proven his mettle in recor­dings of Stamitz, Crusell, and others. The values of this disc lie in the use of authentic instruments, textual changes which are noted on the liner, and the inclusion of two Mozart fragments of other works for clarinet, basset horn, and strings. The per­formances are relaxed, flowing, and infus­ed with the spirit and musicality that are the hallmarks of these performers. As for the engineering, microphone placement, and surfaces, they can be summed up in one word: matchless.

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