Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart, Zukerman, Szell|
Mozart: Flute Concertos, Clarinet Concerto
Great orchestras employ many of the world's best players on their respective instruments, some of whom have gone on to achieve solo careers as composers and performers (James Galway and Malcolm Arnold are two famous exa... more »
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Great orchestras employ many of the world's best players on their respective instruments, some of whom have gone on to achieve solo careers as composers and performers (James Galway and Malcolm Arnold are two famous examples). Just as many remain within the ranks of their band. Robert Marcellus, the superb first clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra, was George Szell's choice to record Mozart's Clarinet Concerto because he has earned the conductor's confidence, and that says more for his ability than all the publicity and hype in the world. The two flute concertos are minor Mozart (he hated the instrument) but are well played here, and they make a sensible coupling. --David Hurwitz
The Benchmark Version of the Clarinet Concerto!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mozart's last great instrumental masterpiece, the Clarinet Concerto combines a seeming simplicity with the utmost sophistication; a beauty that is shining and spiritual and brimming with warmth, humanity and full-heartedness. The Robert Marcellus / George Szell recording is a truly magical experience. No one else who's recorded this piece comes within a parsec of this performance. Originally, it was coupled (on the old CBS Masterworks label) with the equally magisterial Szell/Druian/Skernick Sinfonia Concertante, which made a fascinating pairing since one had what are perhaps his earliest and latest masterworks on one disc. The Flute Concerti, delightful as they are, are not in the same league as the Clarinet Concerto, one of the greatest concerti ever written. And no soloist has ever equalled (not to mention surpassed!) Marcellus-- his intonation, range, subtlety, and expressiveness are splendid! Once you experience this version, no others will be quite up to snuff. And a budget price, too! A marvellous bargain!"
A Special Performance Indeed
L. Ku | New York | 01/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A writer like Mozart comes along just once. A performer like Marcellus and a conductor like Szell comes along once every century. And a group like the Cleveland Orchestra of the 60's is also a rarity. Put them together and you get an profound chemistry that makes this rendition something special.Robert Marcellus, one of the most legendary performers and teachers of the 20th century, was the principle clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1957 to 1977. During this time, the orchestra rose the ladder and was hailed as one of the greatest in the world under the disciplined perfectionalist director, George Szell. When Marcellus stepped down from the position due to failing health, the chair was named in his honor.The Clarinet Concerto is one of Mozart's last and most cherished works. It is considered to be the finest solo piece for a wind instrument ever written. The first movement is a perfect display of classical structure. The second is a soft and deeply felt movement that showcases the wonderful tone of the instrument. The third is a nostalgic rondo.There must be hundreds of recordings for this piece made. Among them, some inspiring renditions are out there, including Dave Shifrin, Anthony Pay, Sabine Meyer, Richard Stolotzman, and more. But Marcellus is considered unanimously to be the reference. His is the most pure: no ornamentation, no tempo changes, and conservative articulation. 40 years now, and still a unsurpassed classic."
Just buy it!
William R. Stutsman | Houston, TX | 12/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine if you were a scientist and realized that everything worth discovering had been discovered. That's how Robert Marcellus' recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto makes those of us who aspire to the clarinet feel. It may be that no one need record this work again. It can only get infinitesimally better. The in-thing today is to record the Mozart with a Basset Clarinet as is was orginally intended. This is ok, but it allows today's soloist to escape comparison with Marcellus. Marcellus' interpretation is unassailable as is the interpretation on the flute concertos. It makes me wonder how much of the interpretation belongs to the soloists and how much belongs to Szell. Szell was an expert on this period and was known as a perfectionist and something of a taskmaster. The performance of the accompaning orchestra shows Szell's interpretation to be flawless as well. Mozart fans need to take a break from the piano works and realize that the clarinet concerto was one of Mozart's last, and therefore, one of his most mature works. The only sad part of all this is that Marcellus left us with so few of his recordings. Get some of the recordings of the Cleveland Symphony from the 1960s if you want to hear more of him. The orchestra was as good as any in the world at that time. This CD would be cheap at twice the price."