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Clarinet Concert No. 5

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Clarinet Concert No. 5 is the latest in a series of issues devoted to legendary Boston Symphony clarinetist Harold Wright on the Boston Records label. Wright, like most great classical clarinetists outside of Benny Goodman, did not get to make studio recordings in a number that seems appropriate given his exalted status. Boston Records has been making up the difference through seeking out recordings of Wright in broadcast concerts, university recitals, and in other public situations where he appeared and his playing documented. The majority of Clarinet Concert No. 5 is given over to chamber pieces with clarinet, the first two being performed with the Budapest Quartet's...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Clarinet Concert No. 5 is the latest in a series of issues devoted to legendary Boston Symphony clarinetist Harold Wright on the Boston Records label. Wright, like most great classical clarinetists outside of Benny Goodman, did not get to make studio recordings in a number that seems appropriate given his exalted status. Boston Records has been making up the difference through seeking out recordings of Wright in broadcast concerts, university recitals, and in other public situations where he appeared and his playing documented. The majority of Clarinet Concert No. 5 is given over to chamber pieces with clarinet, the first two being performed with the Budapest Quartet's longtime violist Boris Kroyt and pianist Murray Perahia, who must still have been a baby when these works were recorded at the Library of Congress in 1967. The sound quality of this particular Coolidge Auditorium concert is excellent, almost state-of-the-art for a live recording of this era. A selection of three of the eight "Trio Pieces, Op. 83," of Max Bruch is heard, along with Robert Schumann's "Fairy Pieces, Op. 132"; these are the real meat of the chamber portion of the program. Ferruccio Busoni's haunting "Elegy for clarinet and piano" comes from an International Clarinet Society conference held in Denver in 1968; the performance is searing and emotional, but the non-professional recording is barely above the quality of a bootleg. Far better sound is present in a Tanglewood performance of Bartók's "Contrasts" with Joseph Silverstein and Gilbert Kalish from 1977. Of course the 500-pound gorilla among recordings of "Contrasts" is that made in 1940 by the composer with Benny Goodman and Joseph Szigeti, and while this performance is nowhere near as electrifying, it is still far better than average in this difficult piece. Finally we have Wright's rendering of the Mozart "Clarinet Concerto, K. 622," one of his few commercial recordings, made for Deutsche Grammophon in 1977 with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony. While it may not displace Wright's justly famous recording of Mozart's "Clarinet Quintet," his most famous recorded outing, it is a marvelous performance, with Wright's silvery, voice-like clarinet tone meshing beautifully with Ozawa's restrained and water-skin smooth orchestral texture. Clarinet Concert No. 5 is a recording that any clarinet player would love to own; Wright provides an excellent model in interpretation of the work and gives Jack Brymer's famous recording of the Mozart a real run for its money.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/2004
  • Label: Boston Records
  • UPC: 781881106622
  • Catalog Number: 1066
  • Sales rank: 122,047

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Harold Wright Primary Artist
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