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MOZART: Piano Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 / Clarinet Quintet (Szell, Goodman, Budapest Qt) (1938, 1946)

Composer(s):Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Artist(s) Goodman, Benny, clarinet • Budapest String Quartet, Ensemble • Szell, George, piano
Period(s) Classical (1750-1830)
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.111238
Label Naxos Historical
Quality   320kbps

Restored from original undubbed pressings, this adventurous 1938 recording of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet brings together “the King of Swing”, Benny Goodman, and the great Budapest String Quartet. A firm favourite with the record-buying public, this interpretation is notable for Goodman’s extrovert, outdoor style, and the Quartet’s inimitable playing. The 1946 Hollywood recordings of the two Mozart Piano Quartets were the first recordings George Szell made in the United States, just before he assumed the directorship of the Cleveland Orchestra. Already a conductor of almost three decades’ experience, Szell had begun his career as a prodigy in both composition and piano playing. In these recordings his aristocratic playing offsets the Budapest’s gorgeous string playing to perfection,



Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

These legendary records come from the days of shellac. Benny Goodman’s set comes from 1938 (these were the days when popular musicians were musically educated) and the Szell set of the Piano Quartets was recorded in Holly wood in 1946. He was an elegant pianist although these performances did not enjoy wide currently in Britain or Europe. Curzon and the Amadeus came along on Decca a few years later and dominated the catalogue for some time afterwards. Readers can at last relish these classical and stylish performances in what is the best sound they have yet enjoyed.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,January 2007

By the time these recordings were made in 1938 and 1946 the legendary Budapest String Quartet had lost all of its original Hungarian musicians and was now totally made up of Russians working in America. That it was still an outstanding group is not in doubt, but they had been brought up in the Austro-German style, and though quite different to their predecessors, it was admirable training for Mozart. Probably for commercial considerations they were joined by the great jazz clarinettist, Benny Goodman, and it makes amusing reading in today's world of crossover artists that the recording label printed a long explanation why they had taken this bold step. In the event it was a gorgeous mismatch, Goodman's bright and breezy approach at odds with the



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