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Thread: The greatest of all clarinet concerti

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    Default The greatest of all clarinet concerti

    Clarinet Concerto in A Major (K.622) written in 1791 is the last of the Mozart concerti and mainly the notes are written in the bass register, written for Basset Klarinett. Up until 1791, no one knew what the bass clarinet looked like and it came as a shock to see a long instrument with a bulbous bell on the end. This work shows the depth of Mozart's mature style. At the peak of his compositional abilities and just weeks before his death, Mozart composed this concerto. He wrote it specifically for his friend and fellow mason, Anton Stadler, a clarinettist, who owed him $25,000 equivalent of that time and never paid it back to him. As a result of this non payment, Mozart was hand to mouth in his last ailing days.

    My recommendation for the Clarinet Concerto is by Peter Schmidl and the Wiener Philharmoniker under Leonard Bernstein on DGG. This recording by Bernstein with Peter Schmidl and the Wiener Philharmoniker is all eloquence and brilliance. I haven't heard a single bad recording of this concerto by any soloist or orchestra, be it a chamber or larger ensemble. Here, Peter Schmidl has an emotional relationship with Mozart right from the first note. Bernstein carries off Mozart with competence in this rendition of the greatest of all clarinet concerti along with a crisp performance of the twenty-fifth and the twenty-ninth symphonies.

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    The first movement is probably my favourite part of the concerto. I probably prefer the slow movement to his clarinet quintet compared to the concerto slow movement.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Mozart would be my first choice as well, way ahead of Nielsen and Finzi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Mozart would be my first choice as well, way ahead of Nielsen and Finzi.
    Quite the same here.

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    What about Carl Maria von Weber? Two excellent clarinet concertos & a gorgeous clarinet quintet (which I had the good fortune to see live earlier in the year)...

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    They are good concerti, but for me in the same league as say Spohr and Crusell. Nowhere near the three I mentioned. YMMV.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Antony Pay with AAM/Hogwood is an exceptional recording.

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    What about Aho?

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    It is interesting that Mozart embraced this relatively new instrument enough to write several works featuring it. According to Wikipedia a working clarinet had only been invented maybe 50 years before Mozart started writing for it.

    With a few exceptions, modern composers seem scared to try writing for any instrument that is not 200 years old at least -- you rarely see electric guitars and synthesizers in orchestral compositions for instance.

    I may not enjoy a lot of Mozart but I have to admire his progressive outlook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Mozart would be my first choice as well, way ahead of Nielsen and Finzi.
    I couldn't disagree more. Finzi is absolutely amazing. I think the Five Bagatelles is one of the best works ever!!! It's so much fun to play!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    What about Carl Maria von Weber? Two excellent clarinet concertos & a gorgeous clarinet quintet (which I had the good fortune to see live earlier in the year)...
    That is an evil, EVVVVVVVILLLL name. My last professor ruined any chance of me liking Weber. Every time I hear his Concertino for Clarinet, a piece of me dies a little. I'll have to get over that however, because it's never going away.

    What about Debussy's "Premiere Rhapsodie"? I know that isn't a concerto, but my gosh it's so invigorating!
    "There was no one near to confuse me, so I was forced to become original. " - Joseph Haydn

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    Not really sure why, but I have always enjoyed playing the Brahms sonatas. I think because I like the sound of the clarinet and most time it's slow enough that I can "sing". Phrasing each note instead of groups.

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