BOSTON SYMPHONY CHAMBER PLAYERS: Mozart Chamber Music for Winds and Strings
A new Boston Symphony Chamber Players CD of chamber music by Mozart for winds and strings on the BSO's own label, BSO ~ K.581.
BSO Assistant Principal Violist Cathy Basrak plays second viola in the Horn Quintet, K.407.
Recording dates: May 8, 9, 11, and 13, 2006
Recording location: Class of 1945 Hall, Center for the Arts, St. Mark’s School, Southborough, MA
**NOTE** This is a Super Audio Hybrid CD - This CD can be played on conventional CD players, however offers enhanced audio quality on Super Audio CD players.
The main course here is the famous quintet for clarinet and string quartet. It is one of the world's great treasures and played here by musicians who know how to do it. They are all members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, moonlighting as chamber players, and clarinetist William Hudgins plays with a smooth, beautiful tone that the more famous buzzy clarinet of Richard Stoltzman can only dream of. The players are listening to each other and responding as a unit, breathing and phrasing with emotional unity. Second place goes to the seldom-played quintet for horn, violin, two violas and cello. James Sommerville's horn is as creamy as Hudgins' clarinet, and Mozart, of course, never wrote a tune that wasn't memorable. Filling out the disc are quartets for oboe and strings and for flute and strings. A lot of Wolfgang, and a treat for human ears.
-Richard Nilsen, The Arizona Republic
BOSTON SYMPHONY CHAMBER PLAYERS
One of the world’s most distinguished chamber music ensembles sponsored by a major symphony orchestra and made up of that orchestra’s principal players, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players include first-desk string, woodwind, and brass players from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Founded in 1964 during Erich Leinsdorf’s tenure as BSO music director, the Chamber Players can perform virtually any work within the vast chamber music literature; they can expand their range of repertory by calling upon other BSO members or enlisting the services of such distinguished artists as BSO Music Director James Levine (as both pianist and conductor) or pianists Emanuel Ax and André Previn.
The Chamber Players’ activities include an annual four-concert series in Boston’s Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory of Music, regular appearances at Tanglewood (summer home of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra), and a busy touring schedule. In addition to appearances throughout the United States, the group has performed in Europe and Japan on numerous occasions and has also toured to South America and the Soviet Union.
Among the Boston Symphony Chamber Players’ many recordings are the Beethoven Septet and Schubert Octet; Smetana’s G major Piano Trio and Dvorák’s String Sextet; the Brahms string quintets; music of John Harbison with soprano Dawn Upshaw, baritone Sanford Sylvan, and pianist Gilbert Kalish; a Copland album with Gilbert Kalish, and a disc of music by Leon Kirchner, all on Nonesuch. For Philips the ensemble has
recorded the quintets for clarinet and strings by Mozart and Brahms with former BSO principal clarinet, the late Harold Wright. Deutsche Grammophon has reissued, on a single compact disc, the Chamber Players’ recordings of Stravinsky’s Octet for Winds, Pastorale, Ragtime, and Concertino for Twelve Instruments, along with Johann Strauss waltzes as arranged for chamber ensemble by Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern.