The music on this release is among the most loved artworks of the world. Today we know them mostly with the clarinet as the solo instrument, but Mozart wrote for a different instrument – an instrument with the same range as the viola. Prepare for an enlightening and refreshing approach to Mozart.
Closer to the source of the concerto?
Now we release for the first time on CD a viola version, dating from 1802-03 when it was published by Johann André in Offenbach-am-Main. Given that the viola has the same ambitus as the bassett clarinet, reaching a third below the clarinet, the unknown arranger of this viola version could keep much of the original solo part without re-writing. The source of this arrangement remains a mystery, although musicologists speculate in names like Beethoven and Hummel.
This is a brilliant adaption of Mozart’s clarinet quintet, where the solopart is divided between the solo viola and the first violin. The result is a remarkable string quintet with elegant exchanges between violin, cello and viola characterize the movement as it progresses; the highly contrapuntal writing of the development section (in which each string instrument gives its version of the viola’s opening phrase) testifies to Mozart’s recent study of J.S. Bach, which had its effect on all his late music.
Lars Anders Tomter belong in the international elite of soloists, touring all over the world. He is also Professor of viola at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and Artistic Director of the Risør Chamber Music Festival together with Leif Ove Andsnes. Arvid Engegård conducts the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra in a live recording from the Aula in Oslo, and Henning Kraggerud leads a quartet of first rate string players – including the cellist Christian Poltéra.