"A performance to rank with the best... the combination of two such fine performances is highly recommended"
"...excellent music, fine performances, and faithful sound....Cala presents the first CD I have ever met that breaks the 80 minute barrier. Far from being compromised, the sound is of unusually high quality....Definition of instrumental timbres is state-of-the-art." Fanfare
"...the Allegri are excitingly febrile....the Clarinet Quintet...where the soloist James Campbell's opening phrase—a whole Romantic dream in one breath—promises poignant delights, and the entire performance fulfils the promise. In its exquisite twilit vein, it has no competitors." Financial Times
This recording brings together Brahms's only two works for soloist plus string quartet. In that the one was written so early and the other so late in Brahms's career, the coupling enables the listener to hear at a single sitting the broad span of his development.
The Bath International Ensemble—comprising James Campbell clarinet, Rian de Waal piano and the Allegri Quartet—are well suited by both temperament and experience to this music. As an ensemble they explore the very depths of the drama and lyrical power and youthful energy of the Piano Quintet, and the heart-stopping autumnal tints of the sublime Clarinet Quintet—one of the finest works of chamber music ever written.