Tuesday, 30 September 2008

169. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Clarinet Concerto (1791)


Title: Complete Wind Concertos
Performer: Charles Neidich (clarinet), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Year: 1987
Length: 30 minutes


They should really have made me go through this book during proof-reading. This is like the third occurrence of wrong image in 170 albums. A few days ago the book image for Clemenza di Tito was wrong and now this one is wrong. Oh well.

This is the last Mozart Concerto...sniff. And it is a corker! Yes it is. From the jubilant first movement through what is possibly the most delicate and moving piece of music composed by Mozart in the second movement back to a great finale. This doesn't sound like a man dying, even if the second movement is as beautiful as farewell as he could have composed... the Requiem, for all its brilliance, is a more stressful affair as a farewell it isn't really peaceful.

So again an essential piece of Mozart, it is a pity that the second movement, which is the perfect classical Adagio has been so overused in films and such, to the point where no one knows when they first heard it... I would like to remember what it is like to listen to it for the first time. Oh well.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Mozart originally wrote the work for basset clarinet, a special clarinet championed by Stadler that had a range down to low (written) C, instead of stopping at (written) E as standard clarinets do. As most clarinets could not play the low notes which Mozart wrote to highlight this instrument, Mozart's publisher arranged a version of the concerto with the low notes transposed to regular range, and did not publish the original version. This has proven a problematic decision, as the autograph no longer exists, having been pawned by Stadler, and until the mid 20th century musicologists did not know that the only version of the concerto written by Mozart's hand had not been heard since Stadler's lifetime. Once the problem was discovered, attempts were made to reconstruct the original version, and new basset clarinets have been built for the specific purpose of performing Mozart's concerto and clarinet quintet. There can no longer be any doubt that the concerto was composed for an extended range clarinet. Numerous recordings of various restorations exist and some of the notable ones include Sabine Meyer with the Berlin Philharmonic, David Shifrin with the Mostly Mozart Orchestra, and Erich Hoeprich with the Old Fairfield Academy (notable for Hoeprich's use of a period-style basset clarinet based on Stadler's of his own manufacture instead of a modern-style instrument).

Second Movement:


Anonymous said...

i loved it. it was so beautiful. i am in 6th grade and i play the regular clarinet. that was awesome!

Francisco Silva said...

Anonymous: Glad that you liked it, it's a great piece :)

Thanks for reading!