CD info Brahms/Reger

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Artists: Sharon Kam · Isabelle van Keulen · Ulrike-Anima Mathe · Volker Jakobsen · Gustav Rivinius

The string quartet has a perfectly balanced, homogeneous constitution and is justly deemed the "prime genre" of chamber music. What happens when it is joined by a clarinet? This woodwind instrument, with its variety of registers, can emerge to be accompanied, but also all of a sudden dive in between the woven voices and add a surprising variety of colours. The most important works for this ensemble were composed by Mozart, Brahms and Reger, where the later quintets refer to their predecessors - a very interesting chain of works. Sharon Kam recorded Mozart's Quintet in 2011, as a compilation to the concerto, with her colleagues Isabelle van Keulen, Ulrike-Anima Mathé, Volker Jacobsen and Gustav Rivinius ("a brilliantly successful disc of this very desirable coupling, very well recorded" – Edward Greenfield, Gramophone). She quite deliberately refrained from choosing an existing quartet as her partner, making up a team of soloist friends instead. The result was a true quintet and not a "4+1" formation. The harmony was abundant from the start, and so they simply kept making music together – naturally enriching their concert repertoire with Brahms and Reger.

The idea of a further recording was irresistible. Both works are quite special, mature pieces: Brahms ripe with an emotion he rarely revealed and ending in a mood of resignation, Reger with his densely meshed yet always transparent final work. This is the piece that may well be a surprise for some lovers of chamber music. The clarinetist Sharon Kam was particularly taken by this work: "It was a love at first sight - or at first hearing! It fascinated me how complicated this piece is and how easy it becomes the moment one gets to know the score better. This challenge has totally intrigued me.“ In this new recording, the five comrades in music bring these pieces to life, casting light into every corner, giving free rein to their emotions, yet never losing the structural oversight – and letting all this flow as if in one concerted breath

For those seeking closer insight into the relationships and cross-connections, there is a limited special edition. This includes a bonus CD with the Mozart quintet and an informative discussion between the clarinettist and Reger publisher Michael Kube. Using musical examples, letter quotations and explanations you can get even closer to the magic of this music. Unfortunately, this conversation is available in German only.



Johannes Brahms(1833-1897):
Quintet for clarinet, two Violins, Viola and Violoncello in B minor op. 115

01 Allegro non troppo
02 Andante moderato
03 Quasi minuetto, moderato - Allegro vivace
04 Finale: Allegro non assai

Max Reger (1873-1916):
Quintet for clarinet, two Violins, Viola and Violoncello in A major op. 146

05 Allegro
06 Larghetto
07 Menuetto
08 Allegretto con variazioni

CD2 (Special edition only)

W.A. Mozart (1756-1791):
Quintet for clarinet, two Violins, Viola and Violoncello in A major KV 581 "Stadler-Quintett"

01 Allegro
02 Larghetto
03 Menuetto
04 Allegretto con variazioni

Introductory talk:
sharon Kam in conversation with Michael Kube (in German)

05 Reger muss viel gebracht werden ...
06 Die Klarinette: Klang und Repertoire
07 Mozart, Brahms und Reger
08 Der Einfluss der Instrumentalisten
09 Regers später freier Stil
10 Zum langsamen Satz
11 Finale: variationen

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