Discussion:
Brahms Clarinet Quintet: Recent Recordings?
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Matthew Silverstein
2021-01-13 04:53:35 UTC
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There have been many discussions of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet over the years, but usually the same classic recordings are mentioned. I'm wondering what people think of recordings released in the past twenty years or so. Some of the ones I have in mind are:

Fröst and Co. (BIS)
Widmann/Hagen (Myrios)
Ruiz Ferreres/Mandelring (Audite)
McGill/Pacifica (Cedille)

The last of those was recommended by Dave Hurwitz in a recent YouTube video.

Matty
dk
2021-01-13 05:45:59 UTC
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Post by Matthew Silverstein
There have been many discussions of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet
over the years, but usually the same classic recordings are mentioned.
I'm wondering what people think of recordings released in the past
Fröst and Co. (BIS)
Widmann/Hagen (Myrios)
Ruiz Ferreres/Mandelring (Audite)
McGill/Pacifica (Cedille)
The last of those was recommended by Dave Hurwitz in a recent YouTube video.
My top choice is Yona Ettlinger with the Tel-Aviv Gang of Four:


dk
MiNe109
2021-01-13 15:06:08 UTC
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Post by Matthew Silverstein
Fröst and Co. (BIS)
Widmann/Hagen (Myrios)
Ruiz Ferreres/Mandelring (Audite)
McGill/Pacifica (Cedille)
The last of those was recommended by Dave Hurwitz in a recent YouTube video.
Mitchell Lurie and the Muir Quartet, released 2008.
Herman
2021-01-13 20:28:44 UTC
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Post by MiNe109
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Fröst and Co. (BIS)
Widmann/Hagen (Myrios)
Ruiz Ferreres/Mandelring (Audite)
McGill/Pacifica (Cedille)
The last of those was recommended by Dave Hurwitz in a recent YouTube video.
Mitchell Lurie and the Muir Quartet, released 2008.
The most recent recording of the Brahms 115 I have is by Sharon Kam, with Isabelle van Keulen and Ulrike-Anna Mathé on violin, and Volker Jacobsen on viola and Gustav Rivinius on cello. It's a 2015 Berlin recording, very well done.
The companion work is possibly even greater: the Max Reger clarinet quintet.
Ricardo Jimenez
2021-01-14 02:45:23 UTC
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Post by Herman
Post by MiNe109
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Fröst and Co. (BIS)
Widmann/Hagen (Myrios)
Ruiz Ferreres/Mandelring (Audite)
McGill/Pacifica (Cedille)
The last of those was recommended by Dave Hurwitz in a recent YouTube video.
Mitchell Lurie and the Muir Quartet, released 2008.
The most recent recording of the Brahms 115 I have is by Sharon Kam, with Isabelle van Keulen and Ulrike-Anna Mathé on violin, and Volker Jacobsen on viola and Gustav Rivinius on cello. It's a 2015 Berlin recording, very well done.
The companion work is possibly even greater: the Max Reger clarinet quintet.
I think this is the set that also has the Mozart clarinet quintet and
7 Wekeinführungs discussing (in German I suppose) the 3 works. I
added it to my Spotify Albums.
Al Eisner
2021-01-14 04:00:18 UTC
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Fröst and Co. (BIS)
Widmann/Hagen (Myrios)
Ruiz Ferreres/Mandelring (Audite)
McGill/Pacifica (Cedille)
The last of those was recommended by Dave Hurwitz in a recent YouTube video.
Matty
I haven't heard any of those recordings, but some high-powered
clarinetists there. I've heard McGill in performance several times,
and he is a wonderful performer who I would expect to be a good fit
for the work. And the Pacifica has long been one of my favorite
quartets. So I intend to pick up at least that last one.
--
Al Eisner
Herman
2021-01-14 08:50:07 UTC
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I think the coupling is a big factor.
Matthew Silverstein
2021-01-14 13:04:20 UTC
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Post by Al Eisner
I haven't heard any of those recordings, but some high-powered
clarinetists there. I've heard McGill in performance several times,
and he is a wonderful performer who I would expect to be a good fit
for the work. And the Pacifica has long been one of my favorite
quartets. So I intend to pick up at least that last one.
It's on Spotify, and I confess to being a trifle disappointed by it. I too like the Pacifica Quartet, but here they seem slightly underpowered. I know this is Brahms at his most autumnal, but I still like it to be played with a little gusto. Listen to the Pacifica at the first big climax in the opening movement (1:07) and compare them to the Mandelring at the same spot (1:00). I love the way the Mandeling players into the music here; the Pacifica sound tame in comparison. Sure, it's nice to hear the clarinet as a part of the ensemble at this moment, but that's not nearly compensation enough. I have compared them beyond the first movement, but so far I'm solidly with Ruiz Ferreres/Mandelring. (The sonics are also spectacular.)

Matty
Matthew Silverstein
2021-01-14 13:22:59 UTC
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Post by Matthew Silverstein
I love the way the Mandeling players into the music here; the Pacifica sound tame in comparison.
Sorry. That was supposed to be: I love the way the Mandelring plays *dig* into the music here . . .

Matty
Chris from Lafayette
2021-01-14 17:59:59 UTC
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Post by Matthew Silverstein
Sorry. That was supposed to be: I love the way the Mandelring plays *dig* into the music here . . .
I have that Mandelring/Audite recording myself (wonderful in 24-bit MCh!) - I love it, but I'm not sure how much "digging" I'm hearing. Indeed, I wonder if "digging" is really compatible with this autumnal music? ;-)

Of the original four you mentioned, I also have the Frost/BIS recording, which I also really like. Actually, I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to this work!
dk
2021-01-14 22:43:07 UTC
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Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Sorry. That was supposed to be: I love the way the Mandelring plays *dig*
into the music here . . .
I have that Mandelring/Audite recording myself (wonderful in 24-bit MCh!) - I
love it, but I'm not sure how much "digging" I'm hearing. Indeed, I wonder if
"digging" is really compatible with this autumnal music? ;-)
Of the original four you mentioned, I also have the Frost/BIS recording,
which I also really like. Actually, I'm pretty easy to please when it comes
to this work!
As stated earlier, only Yona Ettlinger and the Tel-Aviv Gang of Four can
do justice to this music.

http://youtu.be/TeS9Yr3Pf6U

dk
Matthew Silverstein
2021-01-15 06:14:46 UTC
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Post by Chris from Lafayette
I have that Mandelring/Audite recording myself (wonderful in 24-bit MCh!) - I love it, but I'm not sure how much "digging" I'm hearing.
Indeed, I wonder if "digging" is really compatible with this autumnal music? ;-)
Digging in a pile or raked leaves, maybe?

If you have Spotify, compare that moment with the same moment on the Pacifica recording, and I think you'll hear what I mean.
Post by Chris from Lafayette
Of the original four you mentioned, I also have the Frost/BIS recording, which I also really like. Actually, I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to this work!
I like Fröst and Jansen, but I feel that Jansen dominates the string proceedings a bit too much on this recording.

Matty
Herman
2021-01-15 09:42:14 UTC
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Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Al Eisner
I haven't heard any of those recordings, but some high-powered
clarinetists there. I've heard McGill in performance several times,
and he is a wonderful performer who I would expect to be a good fit
for the work. And the Pacifica has long been one of my favorite
quartets. So I intend to pick up at least that last one.
It's on Spotify, and I confess to being a trifle disappointed by it. I too like the Pacifica Quartet, but here they seem slightly underpowered. I know this is Brahms at his most autumnal, but I still like it to be played with a little gusto. Listen to the Pacifica at the first big climax in the opening movement (1:07) and compare them to the Mandelring at the same spot (1:00). I love the way the Mandeling players into the music here; the Pacifica sound tame in comparison. Sure, it's nice to hear the clarinet as a part of the ensemble at this moment, but that's not nearly compensation enough. I have compared them beyond the first movement, but so far I'm solidly with Ruiz Ferreres/Mandelring. (The sonics are also spectacular.)
Matty
The "autumnal" idea has been very bad for the 115, with Karl Leister as a dominant interpret for this pov, recording this piece over and over again, each time more autumnal.
There is a lot of rage in the music, even though the rage may be autumnal, and the idea that is a piece you just nod off to is unfortunate.
Chris from Lafayette
2021-01-15 09:53:52 UTC
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Post by Herman
The "autumnal" idea has been very bad for the 115, with Karl Leister as a dominant interpret for this pov, recording this piece over and over again, each time more autumnal.
There is a lot of rage in the music, even though the rage may be autumnal, and the idea that is a piece you just nod off to is unfortunate.
Does "autumnal" mean that the listener is required to nod off? Let's define our terms! ;-)

Yeah. . . Karl Leister. . . he was a pretty mean clarinetist - and no digging at all! And nope, no added rage for me in the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, thank you very much.
Herman
2021-01-15 16:57:59 UTC
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Turns out I have two more:

the Prazak Quartet with Raphael Severe on Mirare 2015.
The coupling is very interesting, the Hindemith clarinet quintet in the 1954 edition.

The other one is the Jerusalem Quartet with, again, Sharon Kam, on Harmonia Mundi 2013, and the coupling is Brahms 51/2, the a minor quartet.
Al Eisner
2021-01-15 22:52:31 UTC
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Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Al Eisner
I haven't heard any of those recordings, but some high-powered
clarinetists there. I've heard McGill in performance several times,
and he is a wonderful performer who I would expect to be a good fit
for the work. And the Pacifica has long been one of my favorite
quartets. So I intend to pick up at least that last one.
It's on Spotify, and I confess to being a trifle disappointed by it. I too like the Pacifica Quartet, but here they seem slightly underpowered. I know this is Brahms at his most autumnal, but I still like it to be played with a little gusto. Listen to the Pacifica at the first big climax in the opening movement (1:07) and compare them to the Mandelring at the same spot (1:00). I love the way the Mandeling players into the music here; the Pacifica sound tame in comparison. Sure, it's nice to hear the clarinet as a part of the ensemble at this moment, but that's not nearly compensation enough. I have compared them beyond the first movement, but so far I'm solidly with Ruiz Ferreres/Mandelring. (The sonics are also spectacular.)
Matty
Thanks. The Pacifica changed two members about three years ago
(they still seemed fine to me in performance after that), but this
recording is from before the change. Maybe what you describe is just
their coinception of the work. Come to think of it, I can't immediately
recall hearing any Brahms from them.
--
Al Eisner
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