Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto: which recording is best?

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Mozart’s last concerto presents unique challenges to those recording the work, finds Nalen Anthoni

Valedictory or visionary? Is there a choice? Could Mozart, who finished this concerto about eight weeks before he died, have been anything other than valedictory? Yet in his letter from Vienna to Constanze in Baden, written at midnight on October 7, 1791, he says, ‘I smoked a glorious pipe of tobacco. Then I orchestrated almost the entire Rondo of the Stadler concerto.’ No premonitions of death here. Or in his next letter to her on October 14, describing his delight at the success of Die Zauberflöte and only voicing some concern about finding a good school for their young son Carl. But what about inner anxieties, passing twinges of dis‑ease, the dives into depression? Was Mozart visionary in such circumstances? There aren’t ......

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