One of the most grown-up review sites around

53,992 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Recordings of the Month


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Schubert Symphony 9


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)




REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op.115; version for viola (1891) [39:20]
Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941)
Lament, H.101 (1912), version for two violas, edited by Paul Hindmarsh [8:21]
Robert MANN (b.1920)
Dreamtime, for solo viola (1980s) [5:52]
David Aaron Carpenter (viola)
Members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra: Bernhard Hartog (violin): Rüdiger Liebermann (violin): Walter Küssner (viola): Stephan Koncz (cello)
rec. February 2013, Kammermusiksaal, Berlin Philharmonie and June 2013, Oktaven Audio Studio, Yonkers, NY (Mann)
ONDINE ODE 1246-2 [53:33]

The centrepiece of David Aaron Carpenter’s recital is Brahms’s own arrangement of his Clarinet Quintet, recast for viola. Though the two Clarinet Sonatas are well-known in their arrangement for viola, the Quintet is very much less often heard, and almost never on the concert stage. Carpenter joins with some leading players from the Berlin Philharmonic; Bernhard Hartog and Rüdiger Liebermann (violins), Walter Küssner (viola), and cellist Stephan Koncz for a reading that honours the music’s richly warm qualities, whilst also vesting the faster music with requisite energy. The viola can’t quite lead the dance in the more folkloric episodes - I’m thinking in particular of the Scherzo - and it’s here that one most acutely misses the clarinet’s greater mobility and sense of affiliation with lighter dance music. The viola lends an inevitable tonal homogeneity that can’t quite unshackle itself sufficiently to characterise these passages to the music’s ultimate advantage. That’s no reflection on Carpenter, who phrases with great skill, and freights his playing with intelligence and sensitivity. I’ve not heard Yuri Bashmet’s recording of the work with members of his Moscow Soloists but I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed by the Olympian standards displayed by Carpenter and his Berlin Philharmonic confreres. How often you’d want to hear the work recast in this way, though, is largely a personal question.
Two smaller works keep company with the forty-minute Brahms. Frank Bridge’s Lament has been recorded a few times. It’s numbered H.117 in the documentation but I don’t think that can be right, and I’ve amended it accordingly. The viola was Bridge’s instrument, and as an experienced quartet player he knew precisely how to calibrate effects. Carpenter and Walter Küssner make for an opulently toned pairing in a recommendable reading. Don’t be fooled either by the notes which ascribe the arrangement to Paul Hindemith in 1980. It’s by Paul Hindmarsh - and the track listing, at least, is correct. Finally there is Dreamtime for solo viola. It was written by the distinguished Robert Mann, of the Juilliard Quartet, originally as a solo violin piece for Itzhak Perlman on the occasion of his wife’s birthday. It was later to become part of a larger work, a suite called Three Kinds of Slow. The first movement is a wistful, slumbering one, followed by an angular, lively Tarantella. It’s beautifully played, and recorded.
If you admire Carpenter, a regular Ondine artist, you will most certainly appreciate his artistry and skill, and that of his colleagues, in this latest disc.
Jonathan Woolf