℗ ℗ 2018 Navona

Brahms & Carter: Clarinet Quintets

Phoenix Ensemble, Mark Lieb

Available in 88.2 kHz / 24-bit AIFF, FLAC high resolution audio formats

  • Select Format
    • AIFF 88.2 kHz | 24-bit
    • FLAC 88.2 kHz | 24-bit
Add to cart
discounted price
Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115  
I. Allegro
Johannes Brahms; Phoenix Ensemble
II. Adagio
Johannes Brahms; Phoenix Ensemble
III. Andantino
Johannes Brahms; Phoenix Ensemble
IV. Con moto
Johannes Brahms; Phoenix Ensemble
Esprit rude/esprit doux
Elliott Carter; Anna Urrey; Mark Lieb
Clarinet Quintet  
I. Allegro non troppo
Elliott Carter; Phoenix Ensemble
II. Meno mosso
Elliott Carter; Phoenix Ensemble
III. Adagio
Elliott Carter; Phoenix Ensemble
IV. Presto
Elliott Carter; Phoenix Ensemble
V. Meno mosso
Elliott Carter; Phoenix Ensemble
Digital Booklet
Total Playing Time    59:15
The Phoenix Ensemble’s latest album Johannes Brahms / Elliott Carter: Clarinet Quintets is, of course, masterful. The Phoenix Ensemble now looks back on almost three decades of being a fixture in the national chamber music scene, focusing on performances and recordings of 20th- and 21st-century music. Indeed, it may be this particular specialization in complex musical structures that allows the musicians to explore Brahms' late quintet with the previously unheard thoroughness and careful reconnaissance displayed on this album. Strikingly, both faster movements in the work – the opening “I. Allegro” and the closing “IV. Con moto” – are examined more slowly, with deep profundity. Contrary to what one may expect, the work is enriched by reining in the tempo, enlarging the underlying thought process of Brahms' compositional technique as if viewed through a magnifying glass.

But there's yet another artistic merit to this measure – unifying all four movements of Brahms’ quintet in terms of speed also makes them fit perfectly with the otherwise vastly different Clarinet Quintet (2007) by Elliott Carter, a work that consists of movements which blend into one another. The ensemble's previously restrained rhythmic energy is fully unleashed in this structurally dense contemporary composition, culminating in an enigmatic finale.

In between, the listener finds the most delightful intermezzo in Carter's standalone piece Esprit Rude/Esprit Doux (1985), in itself, as the title suggests, a work of contrasts, thus bridging the gap between the centuries. But the work, and indeed this album, accomplishes more than that. In fact, with Phoenix Ensemble's two-fold skill of navigating of dissimilar musical languages, yet finding the common denominator between them, this record might just open up the eyes of Brahms lovers to the music by Carter – and vice versa.
88.2 kHz / 24-bit PCM – Navona Studio Masters

For Your Consideration | More ▸

Offers & New Releases

exclusive benefits for mailing list members

Subscribe Now

What is High-Resolution Audio?

High-resolution audio offers the highest-fidelity available, far surpassing the sound quality of traditional CDs. When you listen to music on a CD or tracks purchased via consumer services such as iTunes, you are hearing a low-resolution version of what was actually recorded and mastered in the studio. ProStudioMasters offers the original studio masters — exactly as the artist, producers and sound engineers mastered them — for download, directly to you.

What do I need for playback?

You may need additional software / hardware to take full advantage of the higher 24-bit high-res audio formats, but any music lover that has heard 16-bit vs 24-bit will tell you it's worth it!

Software for Mac OS X

Software for Windows

Hardware Suggestions