Five Centuries of Classics

“Ah, if only we had clarinets too! You cannot imagine the glorious effect of a symphony with flutes, oboes and clarinets.” (W.A. Mozart, writing to his father in 1778 after visiting Mannheim)

The clarinet has been part of the classical orchestra since the late eighteenth century, yet the clarinet quartet has only become a regular chamber music formation from the second half of the twentieth century. Rather than let music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods go to waste, the Scottish Clarinet Quartet has made it a priority to seek out and add to the best arrangements of works originally scored for forces ranging from four part choir to string quartet and full orchestra. Hence we are able to present a carefully-curated programme of acknowledged masterpieces from the western canon, selected to show off the technical virtuosity and expressiveness of the clarinet. We also include the marvellous Divertimento (1942) from Alfred Uhl, a Viennese composer whose music, according to the New Grove, “combines technical sophistication and musical charm.”


  • William Byrd -Mass for Four Voices
  • G.F. Handel – The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
  • J.S. Bach – Air on the G String
  • W.A. Mozart – Overture from The Marriage of Figaro
  • Alexander Borodin – Notturno, from String Quartet No.2
  • Alfred Uhl – Divertimento


“A proud quality tempered by noble tenderness, ideal for expressing feelings and ideas of the most poetic kind. The clarinet is an epic instrument… It is the voice of heroic love.” (Hector Berlioz, Treatise on Instrumentation and Orchestration, 1855)