SCHUBERT: Piano Quintet in A, D667 "The Trout."
Beaux Arts Trio (Menahem Pressler, piano; Isidore Cohen, violin; Brnard Greenhouse, cello); Samuel Rodes, viola; Georg Hörtnagel, double bass.
MOZART: Clarinet Quintet in A, KV 581
George Pieterson, clarinet/Grumiaux Quartet (Artur Grumiaux, violin; Koji Toyoda, violin; Max Lesueur, viola; János Scholz, cello).
PENTATONE PTC 5186 121 (F) (ADD) TT: 70:17 (4 channel) (HYBRID)
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MOZART: Symphony No. 7a in G, K45a "Alte Lambacher." Symphony in G, KV deest "Neue Lambacher." Symphony No. 12 in G, KV 110/75b. Symphony No. 18 in F, KV 130.
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner, cond.
PENTATONE PTC 5186 112 (F) (ADD) TT: 59:07 (4 channel) (HYBRID)
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Here are two more winners from Pentatone. These, of course, are not new recordings—proof positive that decades ago it was possible to produce totally natural four-channel sound with splendid presence and clarity. The Schubert and Mozart Quintets were recorded in 1975 and 1974 in the famed warm acoustics of the Concertgebouw. Both are four-channel originals now released for the first time in multi-channel and represent some of the finest, most natural-sounding chamber music I've ever heard via recordings. Instruments are well-placed, appropriate ambient sound recreates the resonant acoustics of the Dutch concert hall. The performances are exemplary in every way. George Pieterson for many years was principal clarinet with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. In December 1976 he recorded Debussy's First Rhapsody for Philips with Bernard Haitink conducting, and you can hear his artistry in many Philips Concertgebouw recordings of the time. Grumiaux was a favorite soloist with the Concertgebouw, making a number of superlative recordings with them. With Eduard van Beinum on the podium he recorded the Beethoven concerto in June 1957, and the Brahms in July 1958. He also recorded the Mendessohn and Tchaikovsky concertos in May 1960 with Haitink, and a second recording of the Beethoven with the orchestra conducted by Colin Davis in January 1974.

Sir Neville Marriner recorded all of Mozart's symphonies for Philips including some that were unnumbered, as well as some bits and pieces All were issued on Philips over the years; in 1997 the label issued a 12-CD mid-price set that contained the early symphonies (up to number twenty plus other hybrid works) with the remaining played by the Royal Concertgebouw under Josef Krips, recordings made l972-l974 in the Concertgebouw. From the latter series, Pentatone already has released Symphonies 31 and 38 plus the Andante K. 297 (see REVIEW). These were the only Krips Mozart recordings in the series originally recorded in quad. Now Pentatone has released this CD of Marriner multi-channel recordings, with four of the early Mozart symphonies. We have been advised there will be three more CDs of Marriner Mozart symphonies, a total of 15 more youthful Mozart masterpieces. The expect Marriner elegant performances are here, superb playing by his ensemble, and totally natural surround sound. Both of these CDs are highly recommended. Once again, both are four channel recordings, although your CD player might indicate there are five.

R.E.B. (September 2003)