This recording forms part of a series of reissues celebrating the glorious Decca recordings from the 1950s-1970s of the Wiener Oktett (Vienna Octet), made up of key principals from the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Five titles were released in September and the remaining five are released this month.
Receiving their first international release on CD are the Mozart Clarinet Trio, his Cassation (written when the composer was a mere thirteen!), and the piano-and-wind Quintets of Mozart and Beethoven. The ‘soloists’ within the chamber ensemble – if, as such, one might identify them – are one of the Vienna Octet’s founders, Alfred Boskovsky, and the Octet’s ‘house’ pianist, Walter Panhofer. The mellow writing for the clarinet in both the Mozart Quintets was inspired by the playing of Anton Stadler. This anthology is also unique in that it affords us the only recording on which Willi Boskovsky played the viola – in the ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio. Concluding this anthology is the delightful G major Divertimento by Michael Haydn (Joseph’s younger brother). Found in the British Museum and edited by the Vienna Octet’s bassist, it was often used by the group as a concert opener.
Clarinet Quintet in A major, KV 581 (rec. 1963)
Clarinet Trio in E flat major, KV 498 ‘Kegelstatt’
Cassation in B flat major, KV 99
Quintet for Piano and Winds in E flat major, KV 452
Quintet for Piano and Winds in E flat major, Op. 16
Divertimento in G major
Alfred Boskovsky, clarinet
Walter Panhofer, piano
Recording Producers: Erik Smith (KV 581, KV 99, Beethoven, M. Haydn); John Culshaw (KV 498, KV 452)
Balance Engineers: Gordon Parry (KV 581); James Brown (KV 498, KV 452, Beethoven, M. Haydn); Jack Law (KV 99)
Recording Location: Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, October 1956 (KV 498, 452), June 1957 (Beethoven), September 1962 (M. Haydn), October 1963 (KV 581), October 1964 (KV 99)
‘the music is entirely winning’ (Mozart Cassation) Gramophone
‘the performance of these Vienna players is superlative’ (Mozart Quintet) Gramophone