Mozart, Copland and Franck
March 25, 2012
Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581
Copland Sextet for Clarinet, String Quartet and Piano
Franck Piano Quintet in F minor
Paul Green, clarinet Ida Levin, Yura Lee, violins
Marcus Thompson, viola Ronald Thomas, cello Randall Hodgkinson, piano
The Clarinet Quintet in A major celebrates the passion for purely beautiful sound that Mozart cultivated in his last years. At the same time Mozart exploits with rare efficacy the special characteristics of the clarinet, from its shimmering arpeggios to the large skips. Copland's Sextet is an arrangement of an earlier orchestral work entitled Short Symphony, which at the time was considered too difficult to perform. It is cast in three movements played without pause, featuring complex irregular rhythms amid a sparse texture. Composed at a time when Franck may have been infatuated with one of his students, the ultra-expressive Piano Quintet in F minor may have been inspired by this passion, containing more "ppp" and "fff" markings than any other chamber piece.