Louis-Charles, Duc de Normandie, enjoyed a charmed early childhood in the gilded palace of Versailles. At the age of four, he became the dauphin, heir to the most powerful throne in Europe. Yet within five years he was to lose everything. Drawn into the horror of the French Revolution, his family was incarcerated and their fate thrust into the hands of the revolutionaries who wished to destroy the monarchy.
This gig appears to be a testimony to the recuperative powers of John Wetton’s constitution. Having been out partying in the company of David Enthoven and Richard Palmer-James the night before in Munich, he still manages an impressive performance on Doctor Diamond and indeed throughout the rest of the gig. Though the good Doctor would forever elude them in the studio it seems that the band really beginning to find the soul of this song in concert. Fracture has a risky quality tonight; Bruford is in an adventurous mood whilst David’s tron is a touch out of tune.
Brahms’s two sonatas for clarinet and piano, Op 120, composed in 1894, were followed only by the four Serious Songs and a set of organ chorale preludes (some of which may have been written at earlier times). His farewell to chamber music was also his farewell gift to the clarinet. The two works recorded here were preceded by the Clarinet Trio in A minor (Op 114) and the great Clarinet Quintet in B minor (Op 115), and all four masterpieces were inspired by the playing of Richard Mühlfeld, principal clarinettist of the Meiningen Orchestra.