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Second Concerto for Clarinet (arr Kopetz)

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Carl Maria von Weber

Carl Maria von Weber (arr. Barry Kopetz)


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This work bears the designation Opus 74.


General Info

Year: 1811 /
Duration: c. 23:00
Difficulty: VII / (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts – Unknown


Movements

1. Allegro – 9:30
2. Andante con Moto "Romanza" – 6:25
2. Alla Polacca – 7:15


Instrumentation

(Needed, please join the WRP if you can help.)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Op. 74 (1811) is described as the more symphonic of the two Weber concerti. It is one of the most important pieces in the repertory after Mozart’s classic work, written just twenty years earlier, and remains one of the most dazzling for sheer virtuosic effects. The first performance of the Concerto No. 2, which was given in Munich on November 25, 1811, was received “with frantic applause,” as Weber noted in his diary. This enthusiastic reception was “due to Bärmann's divine playing.”

Among the special features of this concerto are the many dramatic contrasts between the instrument's brilliant high notes and the dark, rich sonority of the lower range. Weber fully exploits the soloist’s ease in playing fluent scales and in shifting from the very highest to very lowest notes. The soloist’s opening flourish, for example, plunges three full octaves, then rebounds nearly the same distance.

The first movement is laid out more or less in standard sonata-allegro form, though Weber adds a few idiosyncrasies of his own to the formula. The first theme has that martial air of which Weber was so fond, while the second suggests a Rossinian tune, reminding us just how close Weber was to the stage all his life, and that his best-known works today are operatic overtures (Der Freischütz, Oberon, Euryanthe, etc.). The finale is in rondo form, which concerto-writers of the period often used. Weber sets it as a Pollaca with its characteristic rhythm of the Polonaise, a Polish dance. This movement makes spectacular demands on the soloist. Leaving aside problems of embouchure and breath control and ignoring the need to hit the right keys, imagine hitting any keys that fast for that long, and you have a small idea of the difficulty of that piece. The main theme is highly effective, due largely to its use of syncopation. The exhilarating coda is, in the words of John Warrack, enough to “burn the fingers of most clarinetists.”

- Program notes from the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Robert Markow


The second and third movements are the more frequently performed portions of this concerto. The second movement, Romanza, is chiefly a test of sustain, expressive playing, although the middle section contains both animation and recitative. The concluding Polacca is a sparkling rondo with Polish dance rhythms. It is carefully constructed and a well-varied concerto for clarinet and band.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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  • Columbus State Community College (Ohio) Concert Band (Thomas Lloyd, conductor; Gail Zugger) - 7 November 2017


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources