Quartet in E Flat Major for Clarinet, Violin, Cello & Piano (1896) 24:20
Quintet in D major for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello & Piano, Op. 11 (1900) 33:13
Ever since Wolfgang Mozart's Kegelstadt Trio (K498), the musical combination of clarinet, strings and piano has been known to be a most felicitous chamber music sound. One is tempted to compare the works on this CD to Brahms' own Clarinet Quintet. That would be a mistake. These works can be judged on their own merits and will richly reward the listener. However it wouldn't be wrong to notice that there must have been strong Brahmsian inspiration.
I am most partial to Labor's quintet, especially the variations in the fourth movement. The entire quintet flows along gracefully, wistfully, and with the greatest charm.
The Orion Ensemble, (Jennifer Marias, Viola; Kathryne Pirtle, Clarinet; Florentina Ramniceanu, Violin; Diana Schmück, Piano; Judy Stone, Cello), have given us excellent performances of both works.