16 Sep 2018

MOZART: Clarinet Quintet in A K581

From Music Alive, 8:00 pm on 16 September 2018

Patrick Barry (clarinet), Donald Armstrong & Malavika Gopal violins), Lyndsay Mountfort (viola), Ken Ichinose (cello)

Patrick Barry

Patrick Barry Photo: Supplied

This four-movement quintet was written in 1789 for Anton Stadler, the principal clarinet of Vienna’s Court Orchestra. Stadler was a friend of Mozart’s, who was greatly impressed with his playing, and a fellow freemason. Mozart himself subtitled the work Stadler’s Quintet. This is Mozart’s only completed clarinet quintet and, like his famous Clarinet Concerto, is in the key of A major. It was originally written for a basset clarinet, an instrument from Mozart’s time which could play slightly lower than a standard clarinet. However, by the time that Stadler died in 1812, the basset clarinet was virtually forgotten.

Musicologist Alfred Einstein described this quintet as ‘chamber music work of the finest type’. The work also reached a worldwide audience in 1983 when if featured in the final episode of the TV comedy show M.A.S.H.   

Recorded at a Wellington Chamber Music Trust concert, 16 September 2018 at St. Andrew's on The Terrace, Wellington by RNZ Concert

Producer: David McCaw

Engineer: Darryl Stack