Review by Windsurfer January 20, 2007 (7 of 9 found this review helpful)
|I really have no right to review this disc:
1, I am too predjudiced in its favor by having heard these players perform all this music last spring in a wonderful concert in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory
2, I am too impatient to reacquaint myself with the (truly) excellent Frost recording on BIS of the Clarinet Quintet to make the de rigor comparisons... (I tried). And I don't have any other recordings (that I know of ) of the Horn Quintet, the Flute Quartet or the Quartet for Oboe.
So what I will not say is: "Those who already own the magnificent Frost recording on BIS need not bother acquiring this one". What rot!
What I will say is that after a session last night listening to among other things, the alternatively intense and meltingly lovely Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto from Julia Fischer, as I went to put this disc on, my wife got up to leave. I said: Wait one minute - you need to hear this!
She said ONLY ONE MINUTE! I need to get up early!
Thirty some minutes later it was over and she got up with a rueful smile, shaking her head at me..."You
did it again, didn't you" she said. Yep I said, are you sorry? "No", with a smile and so we went to bed.
And what did we talk about after the lights were turned out? Why clarinet tone, that's what and how unbelievablely beautiful the tone produced by the Boston Symphony's Principal, William Hudgins is.
There is a lot more on this disc, and a lot more to be said about the Clarinet Quintet. Hudgins performance is all I could ever ask for. I don't know if Frost is too close by comparison or the recorded space is less flattering, but the BSO disc is a real winner. Moreover the principal string players play as a real string quartet - magnificently! (Not that the Vertavo String Quartet doesn't).
The Horn Quintet isn't as appealing to me as music as the Clarinet Quintet, but it also is extremely well done. I can say with assurance that James Sommerville really outdid himself in the concert and in this recording. What is a synonym for "Magnificent" ? I'm using that word too much here...
The Oboe Quartet and Flute Quartet are also exemplary, but do not excite me so much as the other works on this disc, not because of any lack in the playing but I don't think Mozart put quite as much of his genius into them as the other works. I really can't think of anyone I would rather hear play flute than Elizabeth Rowe by the way, not even her bigger toned predecessor, Jacques Zoon.
This is a Multi-Channel recording (all five channels are used) and my Sony player says Multi-Channel when it reads the disc. Given the name of the recording engineer I would be startled if it were not a pure DSD recording. The sound is just wonderful. It is recorded in an empty hall and sounds that way, but the resonance never intrudes to become "echoey". It simply reinforces, flatters the tone of each instrument and group of instruments.
So in concluding I will simply say if Chamber Music is your thing, and if the Clarinet Quintet is your principal interest here, and you have the magnificent Frost recording on BIS and you like it, you really owe it to yourself to acquire this one as well! They are complimentary. Plus you get so much more! If you are "not into" chamber music and want to give it a listen, this is a great introduction!
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