Mozart's Clarinet Concerto
Thea King (basset cl) Gabrieli String Quartet; English Chamber Orchestra / Jeffrey Tate
Hyperion CDA66199 (64' · DDD) Buy from Amazon
The two works on this disc represent Mozart’s clarinet-writing at its most inspired; however, the instrument for which they were written differed in several respects from the modern clarinet, the most important being its extended bass range. Modern editions of both the Clarinet Concerto and the Quintet have adjusted the solo part to suit today’s clarinets but Thea King reverts as far as possible to the original texts, and her playing is both sensitive and intelligent. Jeffrey Tate and the ECO accompany with subtlety and discretion in the Concerto, and the Gabrieli Quartet achieve a fine rapport with King in the Quintet. Both recordings are clear and naturally balanced.
Jack Brymer (cl) London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Colin Davis; Allegri Quartet
Philips 442 390-2PM (62' · ADD · Recorded 1973) Buy from Amazon
From the many recordings of the Concerto Jack Brymer made, this budget-price coupling is well worth looking for. With Davis a master-Mozartian coaxing elegant playing from the LSO, Brymer delivers a performance of poetry and charm. The Clarinet Quintet is no less delightful.