Wailing Clarinet

  Sharon Kam, Clarinet.

This CD allows us to hear the two major clarinet works by Mozart:

Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, and

Quintet for clarinet and strings.

In the first selection on the disc, Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A – major, K622, clarinetist Sharon Kam plays the solo part and leads the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Philharmonic.

Written in 1791, the year in which Mozart died, the Clarinet Concerto was probably his last completed work. It is a  composition that displays all of Mozart’s skills for melody, harmony, versatility, meditation, joy, and delight.

An advantage to Ms. Kam’s performance is that she plays it on a basset clarinet, the instrument for which Mozart originally wrote the piece.

At the time Mozart composed the work, the clarinet was just coming into its own, a relatively new instrument in the orchestra, and the basset clarinet was an early example of it. It is capable of a lower sound than the modern clarinet, and Ms. Kam demonstrates its rich, mellow sonority to the fullest.

As the Clarinet Concerto contains any number of plush, warm passages, the basset clarinet honors them beautifully. With Ms. Kam, the Clarinet Concerto sings.

Here is the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A-Major, with Sharon Kam as soloist:  




And here is another group whom I have not heard before, performing W. A. Mozart’s clarinet concerto in A K622. The selection is performed by the orchestra of the Kölner Akademie, conducted by Michael Alexander Willens with Eric Hoeprich, basset clarinet. Have a careful look also at that old solo instrument…