Quintet for Clarinet & String Quartet
arranged by Tony Turrill from the Sonata D664
Clarinet, 2 Violins, Viola, ‘Cello
Click here for some extracts
here for a full performance
Mvt. 1. Allegro molto
Mvt. 2. Andante
Mvt. 3. Allegro
Between 1815 and 1818, Schubert wrote fifteen piano sonatas which cover the whole gamut of emotions from despair to happiness, grandeur to lightheartedness. As would be expected, all teem with captivating melodies and it is perhaps surprising that some are not heard as often as his other works. The one which forms the basis for this quintet was composed in 1825, almost a year after he completed one of the greatest of all chamber works involving the clarinet - the octet. The sonata was written when he was touring the Austrian mountains and lakes and the serene opening and joyful third movement reflect a time when he seemed to have shaken off the blackness of his chronic ill health. As the octet and the “Shepherd” demonstrate, Schubert’s melodies are very compatible with the vocal nature of the clarinet and this sonata make a charming piece that could have been written for this combination
Alan Hacker wrote that the Mozart Bb Quintet’s four movements and “this Schubert Clarinet Quintet (from D664)are absolute delights and I have the same thrill playing them as with my first encounter with the Mozart and Brahms”.
Inevitably, some changes have been made to the score in order to match the particular combination, .in particular to handle the most pianistic sections. However, these are minor and the melodies and harmonies remain unchanged throughout. The work is in three movements.
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