...on the recent Mozart disc with Colin Lawson, clarinet:

The Revolutionary Drawing Room, a string quartet, shapes the Clarinet Quintet’s opening, hymnlike chords into a gently moving phrase - not solemnly, as some groups do, like entrance music for Sarastro’s clergy - setting the tone for a lithe, subtle performance. Throughout the quintet, the lighter than usual sound of the strings, played with minimal vibrato, creates a balance that showcases the clarinet. Colin Lawson performs on the instrument for which the work was written, the basset clarinet in A.... Lawson plays it, and the two other clarinets on this recording, with agility and beautiful tone.

These are the best kind of period-instrument performances; secure and undidactic. Standard tempos are taken; articulation is not exaggerated, just full of subtle variety, intonation is close to perfect. Ornamentation is added in a spontaneous sounding way, but not overused... I highly recommend this very rewarding disc. Read full review...
◾ Paul Orgel, Fanfare Magazine July/August 2013

'Clarinet Quintet gets period treatment from Colin Lawson' interpretation of distinction. Mozart's 'unplumbed melancholy underlying even his brightest and most vivacious moments' (WJ Turner) strikes a chord with Lawson and the Revolutionary Drawing Room. He draws from his basset (copy of a period model, as are the other clarinets used here) a woody tone of subtly varied hues, balanced with strings equally sensitive to the composer's skill in texturing. A transparent fabric, notes leant into rather than forced, and tempi and dynamics graduated to suit the phraseology form a foundation to a recreative process that spreads beyond the printed page. Read full review...
◾ Nalen Anthoni, Gramophone, March 2013

There's a wonderful smoky smoothness to [Lawson's] tone that's distinctly different from the sound of the period clarinet he uses in one of the Mozart fragments that complete the disc, the Andante Rondo for B flat clarinet ad string quartet. The others include the first ever recording of a completion of an A major Rondo that was originally intended for the quintet but instead was recycled as an aria for Così fan Tutte, and a movement for clarinet, basset horn and strings, which might well have been intended for Stadler and his younger brother Johann. Read full review...
◾ Andrew Clements, The Guardian, Thursday 3 January 2013

... other recordings:

'...the outstanding issue is the Revolutionary String Quartet's recording of the Boccherini quartets from Op39 and 41, music that combines gently sophisticated utterance with real depth of feeling which these players do not fail to catch.'
◾ Gramophone 'Critics' Choice'

'These were excellent performances of a repertoire that does not always get the period instruments and style that it deserves'
◾ Early Music Review, August 2008

'their interpretation has a freshness of sound and a subtle spontaneity that is doubly enhanced by the colourful nuance and bright rhythm in very good taste.'
◾ Repertoire, France

'...a genuine jewel of a recording made by four excellent players'
◾ Wuster, Holland

'The English play with a sure and articulated style and draw out of their period instruments, even in the virtuoso passages, an astonishingly clean sound, surprisingly well-blended yet remaining transparent... the highest quality... leaves no wish unfulfilled.'
◾ Fonoforum, Germany

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