Mozart: Clarinet Concerto / Clarinet Quintet in A Major Andrew Marriner & Sir Neville Marriner
- Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622
- 1I. Allegro11:41
- 2II. Adagio08:13
- 3III. Rondo: Allegro08:25
- Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581
- 4I. Allegro09:17
- 5II. Larghetto07:04
- 6III. Menuetto06:53
- 7IV. Allegretto con variazione09:31
Info zu Mozart: Clarinet Concerto / Clarinet Quintet in A Major
The two compositions by Mozart recorded on this album are not just brilliant pièces de résistance taken from the oeuvre of an outstanding composer, they also provide two top-ranking international musicians with an opportunity to demonstrate their artistic mastery as well as to celebrate in a suitable musical manner two important days in their lives: here, father and son Marriner have combined forces. Sir Neville, who celebrated his 80th birthday this year, is conducting the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and accompanying his son Andrew, who turned 50 in 2004.
Mozart’s Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet in A, K. 581 is dated September 29, 1789. The clarinettist Anton Stadler – who was a top-ranking virtuoso, as is clear from contemporary reports – encouraged his friend Mozart to write not only his Clarinet Concerto, but also this Quintet. Despite the considerable virtuosity demanded here, the basic idea of this half-hour work is not to give a demonstration of purely technical instrumental skill and brilliance, but to provide a tonal balance between the five instruments involved, as well as a corresponding consistency in the motivic-thematic writing. The clarinet dominates insofar as permitted within Mozart’s understanding of chamber-music: it balances on the narrow line between solo instrument and partner in the design of the composition.
The first movement (Allegro) is written in sonata form, and the first theme is presented not by the clarinet, but by the strings in four-part homophony. This is answered in a cliché manner by a miniature cadenza in the clarinet. Not until the development does a merging take place between the so far thematically isolated strings and the clarinet, which finally culminates in the recapitulation, when the homophonous main theme rings out in all five parts. The first section of the middle movement (Larghetto) belongs entirely to the lyrical melody of the clarinet, which soars above the strings like a human voice, before the first violin and the clarinet alternate in a dialogue in the middle section. A short Coda completes the movement. The Minuet contains two Trios (first Trio only for strings) and revives the “emancipation” of the instruments which had manifested itself for a short time in the Larghetto. The Finale (Allegretto) conceals a variation movement with six variations, in which Mozart once again clearly rejects any kind of virtuoso, thematic-motivic playing, reduced to mere outer show. All five instruments participate equally in the music.
Mozart composed his Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622 in the autumn of 1791, in fact just a few weeks before he died. In this composition, we are faced not only with the most important and substantial of Mozart’s wind concertos, but as such with the Classical wind concerto at its epitome. Here, Mozart combines the qualities achieved in his late piano concertos and takes them to new heights. For instance, compared to his earlier bassoon concerto, the individual movements here have gained considerably in size and also in depth of content, and in the orchestra the strings are joined by pairs of flutes, bassoons and horns. There are no surprises awaiting us in the actual form of the concerto: it still consists of the traditional three movements. It is the virtually incalculable variety of detail in composition which, only when combined, leads to such tonal perfection and intensity of expression, which appears to be weightless and yet which is almost impossible to analyze.
'The Clarinet Quintet (K 581, 1789) and Clarinet Concerto (K 622, 1791) are two of Mozart’s finest scores. Those who enjoy Sir Neville Marriner’s way with music of the Classical period should relish this album. Employing modern instruments, Sir Neville’s London-based orchestra plays with verve and skill. The chamber ensemble—Kenneth Sillito and Harvey de Souza, violins; Robert Smissen, viola; and Stephen Orton, cello—blend beautifully with the smooth elegance and rich tones of Andrew Marriner’s clarinet. Sillito’s fine work is especially valuable, because the score of the Quintet gives almost as many solo and leading-voice passages to the first violin as to the clarinet. Played over stereo equipment, these are the best-sounding performances of these pieces that have come my way. PentaTone Classics further characterizes this as an 80/50 Anniversary Album, Sir Neville turning 80 this year and son Andrew turning 50 in 2004. The rich, warm recording was achieved in the Henry Wood Hall, May 31–June 2, 2004.' (Robert McColley, FANFARE)
Andrew Marriner, Clarinet
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
Sir Neville Marriner, Conductor
Andrew Marriner - Clarinet
Andrew became principal of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1986 following the footsteps of the late Jack Brymer. During his orchestral career he has also maintained his place on the worldwide solo concert platform alongside an active role in the field of chamber music. His professional musical career began at the age of 7 when he was a boy chorister at King’s College Cambridge. Joining the National Youth Orchestra in 1968 he studied briefly at Oxford University and then extensively in Hannover, Germany with Hans Deinzer.
He first played with the LSO in 1977 under Sergiu Celibidache and as guest principal on their 1983 world tour. He later also became principal clarinet of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-fields, a position he held alongside his commitment to the LSO until 2008.
As a soloist Andrew has been a regular performer in London, both at the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall. His extensive career abroad has taken him to La Scala, Milan; the Musikverein in Vienna; as far afield as the USA and Australia, and most points in between. These concerto performances have been in collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Richard Hickox, Antonio Pappano, Andre Previn, Rostropovic, Michael Tilson Thomas, Valerie Gergiev and his father, Sir Neville Marriner. Andrew has also given world premieres of concertos written for him by Robin Holloway, Dominic Muldowney and John Tavener.
Andrew Marriner is a member of both the LSO and Academy chamber ensembles. He has enjoyed playing with many other international groups over the years: these include the Chilingirian, Lindsay, Endellion, Moscow, Warsaw, Orlando, Sine Nomine and Belcea string quartets. He has also worked with some of the most distinguished individuals in the world of chamber music such as Alfred Brendel, Andre Previn, Andras Schiff, Lynn Harrell, Stephen Isserlis, Emmanuel Ax and with the late Sandor Vegh, Manoug Parikian, Vlado Perlemuter and George Malcolm. He has shared recitals with renowned sopranos Sylvia McNair and Edita Gruberova.
Andrew has recorded the core solo and chamber clarinet repertoire with various record companies including Philips, EMI, Chandos and Collins Classics. His concerto appearances are regularly broadcast by the BBC. A second recording of the Mozart concerto was released in 2004.
Andrew is in demand as a teacher and woodwind consultant and gives masterclasses, coaches orchestras and adjudicates competitions all around the world. He is visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and at the Accademia de la Musica, Rome. He was awarded an Hon. Ram in 1996.
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
Academy of St Martin in the Fields has an enthusiasm for fresh, brilliant interpretation of the world’s most loved classical music.
We are not reliant on any one venue. We travel the world to bring our vivid sound to a small music festival in Teignmouth, Devon, England, as well as to a huge concert hall in Tokyo, Japan. Our music is equally loved in New York and Nuremberg. Whilst our heritage and roots are in the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, our mission is to bring our unique interpretation of classical music to all parts of London, all parts of Britain, indeed all parts of the World.
We are known for our polished and refined sound, with performances rooted in outstanding musicianship. And whilst our focus is the Classical era, we are never afraid to perform something completely new. Our founder is Sir Neville Marriner, whose vision and inspiration have kept the Academy sound alive. Today we are led artistically by our Music Director, and the membership of the orchestra who create an annual programme of inspirational and inventive performances. Each year we also work with some of the world’s most talented soloists and directors. We re-invent ourselves from a large chamber orchestra to a small chamber group, so that we can display the music at its very best.
We also have a responsibility to the future. So we spend time with young musicians, in schools, in music colleges and with people who are less privileged because we truly believe our music can make a difference to their lives. We enjoy our work and want to enthuse our audiences, re-pay our supporters and partner our sponsors.
Sir Neville Marriner - Conductor
Sir Neville Marriner—perhaps the most recorded of all classical conductors, especially of Mozart pieces—is in large part responsible for maintaining the renaissance of interest in baroque music that developed shortly after World War II. He founded and directs the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, one of the most highly respected and recorded classical ensembles in the world. Marriner's recordings are so numerous that his name is known by even those on the periphery of the classical music audience. Consider Eve MacSweeney's ingenuous observation in Harper's Bazaar: 'Every American brushing his teeth in the morning to a classical station hears [Marriner's] music and his orchestra's mouthful of a name.' Millions previously unexposed to classical music, Dennis Rooney pointed out in The Strad, came to know his name through his musical direction of the Academy Award-winning 1984 film Amadeus, about the life and times of eighteenth-century Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Marriner's focus, however, has never been on popularity, but on an artistic love of the subject and the freedom to produce music that is attentive to details, vital, and clear.
These traits were developed during childhood. Born in Lincoln, England, in 1924, Marriner began playing the violin at the age of five. His father—a carpenter by trade, an amateur musician by desire—and his mother filled the family's home with music. 'This was our entire home entertainment,' Marriner told Rooney, 'so that having gone to sleep for the first four or five years of my life with this noise going on, it seemed completely natural that when it became possible for me to play an instrument, I should be given one to play.' Spurred on by his father and his own growing talent, Marriner won local competitions and eventually a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London when he was 16. Shortly thereafter, however, he was drafted for service into World War II and subsequently wounded. During his convalescence, Marriner met Robert Thurston Dart, a mathematician and baroque musician who greatly influenced the young Marriner's approach to and expectations of music.
Marriner's view of the baroque's joyous, expansive, ornamental music was enhanced through Dart's vision. He explained to Rooney, '[Dart] persuaded us that an ornament was just what it said it was, an ornament, an embellishment, something that should sit comfortably within the music as part of your own expressive intention toward the composer. There had to be something of yourself.'
After his recovery, Marriner studied for a year at the Paris Conservatory, then returned to England to teach for a year at Eton College and for ten years at the Royal Conservatory of Music. During this time Marriner played as a free-lance violinist with numerous quartets, ensembles, and chamber groups before joining the London Symphony Orchestra in 1956.
Born April 15,1924, in Lincoln, England; son of Herbert Henry (a carpenter) and Ethel May (Roberts) Marriner; married Diana Margaret Corbutt, 1949 (died, 1957); married Elizabeth Sims, 1957; children: (first marriage) Susan Frances, Andrew Stephen. Education: Received degree from Royal College of Music, London; attended Paris Conservatory for one year.
Orchestra conductor. Taught music at Eton College, 1947; professor of music at the Royal College of Music, 1949-59; violinist with Martin String Quartet, 1946-53, Virtuoso String Trio, 1950, Jacobean Ensemble, 1952, London Philharmonic, 1952-56, and London Symphony Orchestra, 1956-1968; founder and member of board of directors of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 1959—; conductor of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, 1969-77; music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, 1980-86. Guest conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Concertgebouw, Boston Symphony, French National Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and others; artistic director of the South Bank Festival of Music, 1975-78, Meadow Brook Festival, 1979-84, and Barbican Summer Festival, 1985-87; music director of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, 1986-89. Honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.
Awards: Named commander of the Order of the British Empire, 1979; Grammy Award for best choral performance other than opera for Haydn—The Creation, 1981; Amadeus-Original/Soundtrack was named classical album of the year, 1984; Marriner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, 1985; Grand Prix du Disque; Edison Award; Mozart Gemeinde Prize; Tagore Prize.