Monday, 20 July 2015

Mozart - Clarinet Concerto & Quintet - Fröst et al

Rating: 4/5

Technically excellent but slightly emotionally cold

This is in many ways a very good recording of these two lovely works, but it doesn't quite hit the spot for me. Martin Fröst is a brilliant clarinettist and both the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the Vertavo Quartet are very good, too, but to me these interpretations lack a real emotional core. The technical precision is remarkable, but it feels to me as though everyone is concentrating on producing a very beautiful sound (which they do) and not quite getting to the heart of the music.

This is a very personal feeling, of course, and you may not agree with it. In many ways these are very fine recordings, with excellent sound and a very close-miked clarinet which brings Fröst's masterly playing intimately close to the listener. I would suggest that, if you can, you listen to the samples before buying and try to make your own judgement. You may well find it is for you, but personally I would recommend Thea King's wonderful recordings on Hyperion for equal technical brilliance but a much warmer, more engaged and emotionally literate interpretation.

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