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Encyclopedia > Clarinet Concerto (Mozart)

Mozart's Clarinet concerto in A major, K. 622 was written in 1791 for the clarinetist Anton Stadler. It consists of the usual three movements, in a fast-slow-fast form: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart; January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was a prolific and highly influential composer of Classical music. ... A clarinet concerto is a concerto for clarinet and orchestra. ... (For a list organized by genre, see List_of_compositions_by_Wolfgang_Amadeus_Mozart) The Köchel-Verzeichnis is a complete, chronological catalogue of compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart which was originally created by Ludwig von Köchel. ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Anton Stadler (1753 - 1812) was a clarinet and basset horn player for whom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote both his Quintet_for_Clarinet_and_Strings and Clarinet Concerto. ...

  1. Allegro
  2. Adagio
  3. Rondo: Allegro

The concerto is frequently described as 'autumnal' due to the lyrical Adagio and the emotive passages in minor keys in the outer movements. It was also one of Mozart's final completed works, and indeed his final purely instrumental work (he died in the December following its completion). The concerto is notable for its delicate interplay between soloist and orchestra, and for the lack of overly extroverted display on the part of the soloist (no cadenzas are written out in the solo part). In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time) is the speed or pace of a given piece. ... In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time) is the speed or pace of a given piece. ... Rondo, and its French equivalent rondeau, is a word that has been used in music in a number of ways, most often in reference to a musical form, but also in reference to a character-type that is distinct from the form. ... This article is about the musical term solo; for other uses, see solo. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... A cadenza is usually now taken to mean a portion of a concerto in which the orchestra stops playing, leaving the soloist to play alone in free time (without a strict, regular pulse) and can be written or improvised, depending on what the composer specifies. ...

Contents

The Elusive "Original Version"

Mozart originally wrote the work for basset clarinet, which is a modern name given to a special clarinet owned by Stadler that had a range down to low C, instead of stopping at E as standard clarinets do. As most clarinets couldn't play the low notes which Mozart wrote to highlight Stadler's special 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, and for a long time, 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 "restore" as best we can the original version, and modern equivalents of Stadler's clarinet have been manufactured for the specific purpose of performing Mozart's concerto and clarinet quintet. Recordings of various restorations 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 instrument). The basset-horn is a musical instrument, a member of the clarinet family. ... Sabine Meyer is a German classical clarinetist. ... The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the worlds leading orchestras. ... David Shifrin is an American classical clarinetist. ...


Premiere

The concerto was given its premiere by Stadler in Prague on October 16, 1791. Reception of his performance was in general positive. The Berlin Musikalisches Wochenblatt noted in January of 1792, "Herr Stadeler, a clarinettist from Vienna. A man of great talent and recognised as such at court... His playing is brilliant and bears witness to his assurance." 1 There was some disagreement on the value of Stadler's extension; some even faulted Mozart for writing for the extended instrument. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


First Movement: Allegro

Originally written as a sketch for basset horn, the movement opens with an orchestral statement of the main theme. The theme is taken up by the soloist, and the music quickly takes on a more melancholy feel. At the end of this section, the pauses in the solo part are occasionally taken as a point to perform an eingang (cadenza). The main theme reappears transposed, and leads to the novel feature of the soloist accompanying the orchestra with an Alberti bass. Further development leads to dramatic turn, which, after a tutti, leads back into the main theme. The Alberti bass and arpeggios for the soloist recur before the movement ends in a relatively cheerful tutti in A major. A cadenza is usually now taken to mean a portion of a concerto in which the orchestra stops playing, leaving the soloist to play alone in free time (without a strict, regular pulse) and can be written or improvised, depending on what the composer specifies. ... Alberti bass is a particular kind of accompaniment in music, often used in the classical music era. ... In music, a tutti section in a concerto is one in which the orchestra plays and the soloist does not. ...


The 2nd half of the double exposition of this movement (frequently called by performers simply "the exposition" since it is the only part they play) appears on almost every professional orchestral audition.


(Next section aken from Collin Lawson's Mozart Clarinet Concerto, published by Cambridge Music Handbooks)


Orchestral ritornell: bars 1-56 Solo exposition: bars 57-154 Ritornello: bars 154-171 Development: bars 172-227 Ritornello: bars 227-50 Recapitulation: bars 251-343 Ritornello: bars 343-359


Second Movement: Adagio

Possibly the most well-known part of this concerto, the beautiful and profound Adagio in aria form (or ABA) opens with the soloist playing the movement's primary theme. The descending notes of the answering theme are more elegiac, and are, like the first, repeated by the orchestra. The development, in which the solo part is always to the fore, exploits both the chalumeau and clarion registers, and is frequently performed with a final cadenza, which is often a section of the Larghetto of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet. This article is about the musical term aria. ... Mozarts Clarinet quintet in A major, K. 581 was written in 1789 for the clarinetist Anton Stadler. ...


The first theme and its answer recur (the return of the A section), leading into a coda in which the calm mood of the movement is not once lost. Coda sign Coda (Italian for tail; from the Latin cauda), in music, is a passage which brings a movement or a separate piece to a conclusion through prolongation. ...


This music is often used in movies, notably Out of Africa. Out of Africa is a memoir by Isak Dinesen (the pseudonym of Danish Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke), first published in 1937. ...


Third movement: Rondo: Allegro

The closing rondo has a cheerful refrain, with episodes either echoing this mood or recalling the darker colours of the first movement. It is a blend of sonata and rondo forms that Mozart developed in his piano concertos, most noticeably the A major Piano Concerto, K. 488. Mozarts Concerto No. ...


The opening refrain (bars 1-56) features the soloist in dialog with the orchestra, much more so than in his piano concertos. In many ways, this is a dialog of one-upmanship -- the more definitive the statement made by the orchestra, the more virtuosic the response by the clarinet.


The first episode (bars 57-113) features chromaticism and dramatic lines custom-written for Stadler's clarinet with its low extension. The refrain (114-137) is heard again in a slightly simpler manner, and the music modulates to F# minor.


The second episode (bars 137-187) contains "one of the most dramatic showcases for the basset clarinet in the entire oncerto, featuring spectacular leaps, together with dialog between soprano and baritone registers."1 After this episode there is no refrain.


The third episode (bars 188-246) is a recapitulation of the first, but instead of a simple restatement, it modulates four times. This allows the soloist frequent opportunities to display impressive chromatic figurations, and the composer to demonstrate his creative genius in the reworking of the material.


The refrain (bars 247-301) is heard for the final time, exactly like it was presented in the opening, before proceeding to the coda (bars 301-353). Here the rondo theme is developed dramatically, using the full range of the clarinet. Mozart uses leaps, trills, and figurations. In the end, the more cheerful mood wins out, and the concerto ends with a tutti untouched by the melancholy seen elsewhere in the work.


Sources

Note 1: Colin Lawson, Mozart: Clarinet Concerto, (Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 1996).


Media

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Klarinettenkonzert A-Dur - 1. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Klarinettenkonzert A-Dur - 2. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Klarinettenkonzert A-Dur - 3. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ...

External link

  • Hear Michele Zukovsky perform the Mozart Clarinet Concerto

  Results from FactBites:
 
Mozart's Clarinet Concerto K.622 And Clarinet History (408 words)
Stadler was a close friend of Mozart in Vienna in the closing years of the composer's life and he and his brother Johann played in many of the Austrian composer's works, including those already mentioned.
Mozart's now celebrated Clarinet Concerto, completed just two months before his death, was begun as early as 1789 as a concerto for basset horn in G Major.
The concerto was published in 1801, ten years after Mozart's death, in an arrangement for normal clarinet in A, the instrument that is well known today.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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