Krommer: Concerto in E flat for Two Clarinets, Opp. 35 & 91; Concertino italien

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LABELS: Koch Schwann
WORKS: Concerto in E flat for Two Clarinets, Opp. 35 & 91; Concertino italien
PERFORMER: Dieter Klöcker, Waldemar Wandel (clarinet); Stuttgart RSO/Wolf-Dieter Hauschild
CATALOGUE NO: 3-1077-2
The Bohemian composer Franz Krommer, born in 1759, may be familiar to some through his music for wind octet and, though inevitably overshadowed by Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, he was a fine composer in his own right. The three works for two clarinets and orchestra were composed between 1802 and 1818 and are among the best examples of the genre, with very virtuosic yet melodic writing. While the influence of Haydn and Mozart is evident, these pieces contain some innovative and imaginative material, especially in Op. 91, which includes a theme very similar to one later used by Weber in his F minor Concerto. The Concertino italien, written in 1809, is completely different from the two concertos , which adopt the standard three-movement form, in that it is a single movement comprising slow introduction, a Romantic allegro and a maestoso coda – an unusual structure for the time. The playing throughout is first-rate, with an almost uncanny tonal blend between the two soloists. The liquid, focused sound of the narrow-bore clarinets used by these players is ideal for this music and enhances the Bohemian flavour. Tim Payne