Notes and Editorial Reviews
Marco Gironi (ob); Vincenzo Paci (bh); Str Qrt del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia
DYNAMIC CDS 725 (46:56)
This assignment has—temporarily, I hope—diminished my imagination. I can’t imagine a more soul-satisfying short program than Mozart’s Oboe Quartet followed by His Clarinet Quintet. The quartet is the distillation of spring—optimistic, buoyant, carefree, youthful.
The quintet is autumnal—it has its joys, but they are tempered by a touch of bitter with the sweet, a mellowness, a feeling of reflection. The quartet is one of those rare examples of perfection. It’s hard to imagine that anyone with the requisite technical skill to play it could give a bad performance. But the quintet improves on perfection; it requires a degree of artistry beyond that of the quartet. It’s impossible to imagine a clarinetist who would not want to test his or her mettle on it. And having heard it here on the low basset horn, I can barely imagine anyone still wanting to do it on a standard clarinet.
I’m pleased to report that the disc lives up to expectations. The quartet is done to a fare-thee-well, and the quintet is nearly flawless as well. Marco Gironi blows away all technical obstacles and projects just the right tone of jaunty confidence. Vincenzo Paci, too, plays impeccably and with that gorgeous tone. He can be a little more impetuous than my imagined ideal, but stays well within acceptable bounds. The members of the String Quartet of the Theater La Fenice of Venice are apt partners. So, there is much to admire about this disc and very little to dislike. I can imagine many happy returns to this disc.
I would like to put in a good word for two other discs that might be favorably compared to this one because both offer the bonus of the Horn Quintet: Novalis 1500 006-2 with Fumiaki Miyamoto, Reiner Wehle, and Marie-Luise Neunecker and Philips 422 833-2 with Neil Black, Antony Pay, and Timothy Brown. But you won’t go wrong with Dynamic.
FANFARE: George Chien
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