LL 1135 Concerto in A Major for Clarinet and Orchestra (K.622)
Concerto in B Flat Major for Bassoon and Orchestra (K.191)
Production credits unknown
Released on 1955
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Find it at GEMM
LL 1135 cover
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T he bassoon and clarinet concertos are bookends in a too-short life, the one recorded by an 18-year-old Mozart stifled by the structure of the Salzburg court, the other written by a dying, despondent composer. Both works have since become benighted entries in the limited lexicon of the worldís wind concertos, the first because of a general dearth of bassoon concertos, the latter because it is the work of a mature, masterful Mozart. Presented here by Anthony Collins and The London Symphony Orchestra, this disc has the advantage of being one of the earlier recordings of these works. In 1959, Gervase de Peyer and the LSO (this time under the baton of Peter Maag) would revisit the clarinet concerto, and no less than a dozen quality recordings of the work exist. Despite dire circumstances, the composer imbued the Clarinet Concerto with the liveliness, beauty and tender strokes of sadness that reveal that great well of love and life that sprang so easily from the mind of Mozart. It is not one of his greatest compositions, but it is the work of a great artist whose life and art inhabited separate worlds. No such platitudes for the Bassoon Concerto, which is still played today because bassoon players have nothing else on which to hang their hat in Mozartís canon. The work is derivative, cautious and has little to offer beyond an attractive Andante. The choice of a Jacques Ibert cadenza (he actually wrote more than one for the concerto) was appreciably modern in 1955, but itís an unconventional solo that seems odd and out of place in an Allegro; itís unlikely Mozart himself envisioned anything of the sort in 1774 (and then again, its incongruity might have found a sympathetic ally in the young composer). Like a lot of the old London ffrr discs, the grooves are too tightly packed together, and the sound reproduction is limited even on good analog equipment. Beulah has released a CD version of these recordings, but I would think the way to go is the 1959 Decca recording on CD, which by all accounts (which is to say Penguinís account, since who else is keeping track of these things?) delivers superior sound.

TRACK LISTING

  1. CONCERTO IN A MAJOR FOR CLARINET AND ORCHESTRA, K. 622
      First Movement: Allegro
      Second Movement: Adagio
      Third Movement: Rondo (Allegro)
  2. CONCERTO IN B FLAT MAJOR FOR BASSOON AND ORCHESTRA, K. 191
      First Movement: Allegro (Cadenza by Ibert)
      Second Movement: Andanta ma adagio
      Third Movement: Rondo (Tempo di menuetto)

CREDITS

ANTHONY COLLINS -- conductor
GERVASE DE PEYER -- clarinet
HENRI HELAERTS -- bassoon
THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA -- orchestra
Anthony Milner -- liner notes

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1955 London ffrr LP LL 1135  

 

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