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Brahms Clarinet Quintet

Lesley Schatzberger
Fitzwilliam String Quartet


echho logo Clarinettist Lesley Schatzberger and the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, both of whom have established well deserved reputations for thoughtfully delivered and historically considered performances, present a new recording of works by Brahms, Mozart, Glazunov and Sweeny on Linn Records.   At the centrepiece of this new recording is the Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B minor, which in their hands carries particular historical significance.

Brahms was originally inspired to write the Quintet after hearing clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld perform.   Interestingly Lesley Schatzberger can trace her teacher-pupil relationships back to Mühlfeld and in fact performs on a specially-made copy of Mühlfeld's own clarinet.   This wonderful instrument creates an authentic period sound, one to which the Quartet adds by making use of contemporary style bows and gut strings.   The performers adhere to certain aspects of performance practice which were in favour at that time such as the use of vibrato and portamento, while embracing Brahms' attitude to rhythm, tempo, and rubato creating a performance with a truly authentic feel.

The programme also includes a rare Mozart Quintet Movement in B flat major, completed by Duncan Druce, which is one of several unfinished Mozart works which are still being realised today, as well as Glazunov's haunting Rêverie Orientale and An Òg-Mhadainn (The Young Morning) by Scottish contemporary composer William Sweeney which evokes the bright, clear early mornings common to the beginning of the new year.

    Clarinet Quintet in B minor Op.l15
1. Allegro     (11:27)
2. Adagio     (10:23)
3. Andantino - Presto non assai, ma con sentimento     (4:24)
4. Con moto     (8:25)

    Quintet movement in B flat major, K.516 (K.Anh.91)
    (completed by Duncan Druce)
5. Allegro     (8.26)

6. Rêverie Orientale, Op. 14 No.2     (6:54)

7. An Òg-Mhadainn     (11:45)

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