Dieter Klöcker / Leopold Quartet

Mozart: Complete Clarinet Quintets

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Mozart's Clarinet Quintet of 1789 is a rich, ripe work of the composer's maturity, with sweet melodies, succulent harmonies, and a tone of autumnal warmth. This disc is of special interest because it includes his other three chamber works featuring clarinet. Those three pieces are substantial single-movement fragments, tastefully reconstructed, and completed by other, later hands. Performed here by clarinetist Dieter Klöcker and the Leopolder-Quartett, all four works come off as prime Mozart. With his dulcet tone, effortless technique, and obvious affection for the music, clarinetist Klöcker breathes life into every phrase, and in partnership with the polished Leopolder-Quartett creates alert and ingratiating performances. Klöcker makes the most of the melodies in the three completions, the best of which is the F major movement for clarinet, basset horn, and string trio, in which the ensemble is joined by basset hornist Waldemar Wandel. The most engaging and memorable piece is certainly the quintet, and it receives the best performance as well. Klöcker and the quartet turn in a lyrical account of the work, with rounded sonorities, lush balances, and a lively sense of rhythm, particularly in the finale. Recorded in clean, clear sound by Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm, this disc should appeal to every Mozart aficionado.

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