Sublime Mozart

John Daly-Peoples
National Business Review (NZ)

A number of classical recordings have been coming out of Australia in the last few years, taking Australian music and performers into the international classical music world including some impressive recordings from the Melba Foundation...

Three recent recordings; J.S. Bach Organ Sonatas, BWV525 – 530, The Galant Bassoon and Sublime Mozart: Works for Clarinet show the high level of talent and recording expertise that is the hallmark of the foundation's releases...

In Sublime Mozart the clarinetist Paul Dean plays the concerto with Queensland Orchestra while the Grainger Quartet accompanies him in the playing of the quintet.

From the opening bars of the concerto Dean demonstrates not only his impressive technical skills but also his understanding of the way the instrument needs to integrate with the orchestra.

Throughout the piece the clarinet soars above the orchestra which seems to develop its own separate melody line. Then instrument and orchestra merge together in a superbly planned strategy.

In a number of sequences the clarinet evolves out of the basic musical line and takes on an intriguing more complex mathematical structure.

The exquisite detailing of Dean’s playing allows for the creation of superbly placed spaces and silences and he also manages to draw out the emotional qualities of the work providing elegant passages of chiaroscuro.

The orchestra is not just there as a background and it gives a meaningful and intelligent account showing off the architectural quality of the work.

The quintet is one of the composers more dazzling works with all the players having some great passages to play.

It’s a work which reflects a range of emotional nuances notably in the final allegretto with its alternating passages of light and dark.