Mozart : Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, K. 581 (featuring Benny Goodman on Clarinet)

Mozart : Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, K. 581

W.A. Mozart’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, K. 581 is his only completed clarinet quintet.  It was composed in 1789 for clarinettist Anton Stadler.  The Quintet is one of the earliest and best-known compositions written for one clarinet and a string quartet.  It is a very popular work because of its lyrical melodies.  The second movement is the most widely known movement of the whole work.

Benny Goodman was an American jazz clarinettist and bandleader.  He formed his first big band in 1934.  It was the top band of the swing jazz era.  Benny Goodman mostly played jazz but he also had an interest in classical music written for the clarinet.  Goodman commissioned works from Bartok, Copland, and Hindemith.

Here is a recording of Benny Goodman and the Budapest String Quartet playing W.A. Mozart’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, K. 581.  This recording was made in 1948 and was Benny Goodman’s first classical music recording.  Enjoy!

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