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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000867.txt from 2000/09

Subj: [kl] Re: Meyer/Mozart
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 08:29:56 -0400

Dear Victor,
I recommend either but prefer the latest.
IMO they don't differ too much in the solo playing and both are top-class.
I already possessed a copy of the earlier recording (as well as many other
versions) but I think Sabine Meyer's a fabulous player and the review by
Edward Greenfield in the Feb "Gramophone" this year (see below) convinced me
that it was worth buying the new one (not that it would take much).

I've listened to the new recording dozens of times and not been the least bit
disappointed - perhaps one of the best to date IMO; compared by Greenfield
with earlier recordings with (S) Meyer herself Karl Leister as soloists &
Thea King. Comparison with a "British" (definitive) version seems to be
obligatory in Gramophone. [When first reviewed (?1992) the earlier Meyer
version was compared to one of Jack Brymer's recordings, which seemed a bit
unfair considering that it was Brymer was vastly more experienced and it was
his 2nd or 3rd attempt] . In the Feb review, the reviewer (wisely, I think)
avoided attempting comparisons with other interpretations played in different
styles with different instrumentation (e.g. the several "authentic
instrument" versions of which I think that by the eminent satirist Tony Pay
is Paramount).
Anyway, here's the text of the Feb. Gramophone review. I think it's a very
good review perhaps because I reflects my own opinions fairly well.

Debussy Premiere rapsodie Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A, K622 aTakemitsu
Fantasma/Cantos Sabine Meyer cl Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Claudio
Abbado. EMI (Full price) CDC5 56832-2 (52 minutes: DDD) a Recorded live in
the Philharmonie, Berlin during December 1998. Sabine Meyer returns to the
Mozart Clarinet Concerto and the Berlin Philharmonic for this unusual
coupling of the old and new.

Mozart, Clarinet Concerto - selected comparisons:

Leister, BPO, Karajan (6/72R) (EMI) CDM7 64355-2
King, ECO, Tate (9/86) (HYPE) CDA66199
Meyer, Staatskapelle Dresden, Vonk (3/92) (EMI) CDC7 54138-2

Sabine Meyer here returns as soloist to play with the orchestra which refused
to accept her as Karajan's nominee for the post of first clarinet. She is, of
course, a natural soloist rather than an orchestral player, and even since
she last recorded Mozart's concerto with the Staatskapelle her individual
artistry has intensified.

The differences interpretatively between her two recordings are relatively
small. She still opts for speeds faster than usual - markedly faster than
those in the recordings listed above by Karl Leister and Thea King - but she
now finds time to point phrasing and shade dynamics in more detail and with
sharper contrasts, always with keen imagination and a feeling of spontaneity.

In short, she is to a degree more freely expressive than before, even though,
with her flowing speeds and purity of tone, she leans towards a classical
approach. I also note that, as before (where appropriate) she adds
cadenza-like flourishes, as in the lead-back to the reprise in the central
Largo - a magical moment. I have no hesitation in preferring this new version
to her first one, particularly when Abbado's accompaniment with the Berlin
Philharmonic is lighter, fresher and more transparent in texture than Vonk's,
helped by clearer recording.

Not that everyone will welcome the different coupling, when on the earlier
disc the more generous offering was of Mozart, the wind Sinfonia concertante.
This time the fill-ups are more obviously geared to bringing out the full
range of Meyer's artistry, when both the Debussy and the Takemitsu reveal to
the full her love of using the clarinet seductively, drawing on a ravishing
tonal range. As she plays the two pieces, one seems to develop out of the
other, each inhabiting a dreamlike world of sound. The Debussy, at half the
length of the Takemitsu, is more varied in its expression and moods, but
Meyer plays both with comparable magnetism, helped by Abbado to sustain the
hypnotic 16-minute span of Fantasma/Cantos. Edward Greenfield
Original message

Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 21:16:28 -0400
From: Victor <>
Subject: Meyer/Mozart
Message-ID: <>

How does Sabine Meyer's two recordings of the Mozart Concerto compare
with each other?


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