20.14 CONFERENCE DINNER

Concert, Old Dining Hall, Queens’ College

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  • The Cambridge Librarians Music Ensemble performing Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A major (K.581). Image: Carla Marchesan

As we stood around networking, marvelling at the decoration of the Queens’ Old Hall and enjoying a pre-conference dinner drink, the Cambridge Librarians’ Musical Ensemble serenaded us with a performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A major (K.581).

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  • As we stood around networking… Image: Carla Marchesan

Mozart first heard the newly-invented clarinet on a visit to Mannheim when he was seven, and became fascinated with its mellow tone and wide range. Later he became friends with Anton Stadler, an Austrian clarinet virtuoso, and this chamber music was written for him, in 1789. It is the slow, Larghetto, movement that is probably the best known part of the Quintet. The Players performed the whole work sensitively and with a pleasing overall balance.

Of course, it was presented not as a concert piece but as background music for ARCLIB, and it was so successful in breaking any remaining ice that the discussions and chatter levels in the Hall kept rising, so much of the performance was difficult to hear. But the ensemble created such an enjoyable relaxing atmosphere that when the work finished, they were given a deserved and hearty round of applause.

Review by: Norman Ashfield, life member, formerly of Birmingham University

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  • Conference dinner at Queens’ – image: Carla Marchesan

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  • The courtyard at Queens’ – image: Carla Marchesan

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