I ordered a CD from Amazon that had two Mozart pieces.

Benny Goodman, 400 Restaurant, New York, NY., ca. July 1946
Benny Goodman, 400 Restaurant, New York, NY., ca. July 1946

The Daughter played the clarinet for about two years. The added benefit was that The Wife took HER clarinet out of retirement – she had played in high school – and started practicing. They even played a brief duet at one of the family reunions.

Unfortunately, when the Daughter quit, her mother did as well. Still, she loves the instrument.

The Wife is a notoriously difficult person to buy presents for. There have been a few things that had been reliable choices for a time. A few Glee TV soundtracks early on. Her “K girls, Diana Krall and Alison Krauss, when they’d put out a new album. The six
seasons of Downton Abbey on DVD.

This year, uncharacteristically, she actually asked for a classical album featuring clarinetist Benny Goodman. I was unaware that he even played in a classical setting, hearing him entirely in the jazz genre.

Nevertheless, I ordered a CD from Amazon that had two Mozart pieces, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A major, K. 622 and Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet in A major, K. 581, the former with the Boston Symphony, conducted by Charles Munch, the latter with its String Quartet.

It arrived at work the Friday before Mother’s Day. At church that evening, it was First Friday, and the Capital City String Quartet was playing pieces by Mozart and Brahms with a clarinetist. You can guess that the Mozart piece was the very same K. 581 that had just been delivered to me!

And the K. 622 The Wife had played in a performance in high school, which seems to have been her greatest musical accomplishment.

Happy birthday to my bride, who is turning…some age younger than mine. Hope I have figured what to get you THIS time. In honor of her natal day, listen to Mozart, Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A major K. 581.


Nairi-Quartet: Soo-Young Lee (Clarinet), Narine Nanayan (1st violin), Zhanna Harutyunyan (2nd violin), Gohar Mkhitaryan (viola), Vladislav Kozin (cello)

Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A major K 622

Cleveland Orchestra. Clarinet: Robert Marcellus Conductor: George Szell

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