This is another lower-mid price disc in Warner's Original series
hallmarked by the use of the cover used for the very first issue back in
1990. Like the same series' Ravel/Rachmaninov Michelangeli CD
released at the same time its content replicates a disc issued in 2002. That
was part of the then EMI Classics Great Recordings of the Century
marque and it was reviewed here
by Don Satz. Again in an echo of the treatment accorded to
this famous Mozart/Sabine Meyer showcase Warner have opted not to follow the
example of the EMI Masters
disc issued in 2011. That disc, reviewed
here, generously added a piece by Krommer to supplement
the playing time. In fact the playing time, while hardly lavish, is not bad
without any additions.
Meyer is a sure and thoughtful guide through these works. That's to
be expected: with her ensemble she has immersed herself in Mozart's
'harmoniemusik'. She is amongst the world's most
illustrious clarinettists; likewise amongst the smaller band of
practitioners of the basset clarinet. Brian Wilson reviewed
her 3-CD EMI survey of the wind ensemble music.
Meyer's and Vonk's account of the Clarinet Concerto reaches
its understated and moving peak in the slow movement at 4:04 where something
extraordinarily quiet and moving happens. There were times when the
accompaniment had seemed penny plain but clearly they were husbanding their
expressive resources. As for Meyer's use of the basset clarinet any
differences - and I struggled to hear them - are slight. The liner-note
tells us that Meyer's edition of K622, prepared in anticipation of
the 1991 Mozart Year, was done in the knowledge that the Mozart work we know
was actually written for the low basset instrument.
The Sinfonia concertante
emerges as blithe and bonny as the
finale of the K622 and shows up as less of a poor cousin to K364. Thanks are
due to all four soloists. As for Vonk (1942-2004) he is an under-appreciated
figure with some excellent Schumann to his name (review
). By the way Meyer plays the clarinet in
K297b; not the basset clarinet.
The recording quality is admirable without calling attention to itself and
the fairly lengthy liner-note by Eckhardt Van Den Hoogen is worth reading.
It's in German (original language) and English and French as
This disc from Warner and Sabine Meyer is highly attractive without being