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Ignaz Joseph PLEYEL (1757-1831)
Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in B flat major [23:51]
Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in B flat major [25:17]
Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major for two clarinets and orchestra [18:58]
Dieter Klocker (clarinet); Sandra Arnold (clarinet)
Sudwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim/Sebastian Tewinkel
rec. Laurentiuskirche Oberderdingen, June, October 2007. DDD
CPO 777 241-2 [68:22]
Experience Classicsonline

CPO continue their pilgrimage through the neglected and disdained. They do so in company with the precious myriad regional orchestras and soloists to be found in Germany. Klocker is very well known and we are in his secure and imaginative hands alone in these two concertos. He is joined for the Sinfonia Concertante  by Sandra Arnold who is no less skilled and sensitive.
Pleyel's music is a gentle extension of Mozart's idiom and it seems to suit him like a glove. He was a contemporary of Mozart but outlived him and died in retirement just outside Paris. There he was better known as a manufacturer of pianos. Seen as a minion of princes he escaped Madame Guillotine by a hair’s breadth. He had been a pupil of Haydn whose string quartets were published in a complete edition by Pleyel’s own publishing house. Among a long list of works there are some seventy string quartets and more than forty symphonies not to mention operas and concerts. The rate of new works understandably dropped as his business interests increased.
There's dashing and bubbling writing here as well as some pleasingly inventive lyricism which will quickly draw you in if you have any taste for the Mozart clarinet concerto. In the finale of the first concerto there is a flavour of operatic turmoil but otherwise this is strongly Mozartean stuff – badinage rather than discourse. There is a devil-may-care urgency and sparkling and totally captivating humour about the rondo moderato of the Sinfonia Concertante.
Mozarteans looking to broaden their horizons will find this music and the lovely playing totally entrancing. Try the last movement of the two movement Sinfonia Concertante. If you aren’t won round I suggest you move on - most listeners will succumb immediately.
Rob Barnett


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