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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000701.txt from 2000/04

From: Shouryu Nohe <>
Subj: Re: [kl] mozart
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 02:48:28 -0400

On Mon, 17 Apr 2000 wrote:

> this might be a really stupid question to ask but what is the proper name for
> the mozart piece which is thought to be the first piece soley for the
> clarinet.

Soley for the clarinet? Hardly. If you speak of the Concerto in A major,
Kv622, the notion of that being the first solo work for clarinet was
debunked long ago, if any such notion existed at all.

As far as my research goes, the earliest solo works for clarinet were
composed by Johann Molter, round abouts 1750. He composed several
concerti for the smaller instrument, keyed in D. At the time, it was very
common for players to play reed up, allowing for added ease in the
altissimo, and Molter's concerti reflect this, displaying a notable flair
in technicality and brilliance, albiet most of the note being
regoshdarndiculously high.

Johann Stamitz, conductor and head of music at Mannheim had also composed
a single concerto for the Bb clarinet at around this time; sadly, his work
is often overshadowed by his son Karl's eleven clarinet concerti. I
personally find the elder Stamitz's concerto a wonderful work with as much
substance and importance as the younger's more popular works.

Some other composers also took hold of the instrument at this time, but
most likely a couple years later than Molter and J. Stamitz. Telemann,
KPE Bach, Vivaldi, J.J.Faber, and Pokorny all played distinct roles in
adding to the young instrument's repertoire with various concerti,
concerto grossi, and chamber oriented works.

Karl Stamitz' concerti would follow next, around 1770. He composed for
Beer ("He should have at least gotten scotch." - L. Borchert, 1999), who
was one of the first three recorded clarinet virtuosi, the others being a
Mr. Charles of Hungary (but he earned his reputation in Britain) and
Beer's contemporary, Franz Tausch.

The bass clarinet and bassett horns are invented at about this time.

It is then that Herr Mozart finally enters the picture - his first notable
clarinet contribuition was a Divertimento in 1771 (Kv186). Two more would
follow shortly after, Kvs 166 and 186. These are Mozart's first NOTED
works; there is speculation that he may have intended the clarinet's use
as early as 1764, in a small composition catalogued Kv18.

After the Stadlers moved to Vienna in 1777, Mozart would become
particularly aquainted with the elder Stadler, Anton, through the
Freemasons, which both Anton and Mozart joined in 1784-5. Mozart would
then compose a good number of trios for his friend, either for
clarinet/basset horn and voice, or for both Stadlers, usually for clarinet
and basset horn. The famous (or should I say infamous) Kegestatt (Kv498)
trio is probably the most familiar to us.

Skittles, anyone?

Also of note is Kv580 and the famous quintet Kv581. A whilst later,
Mozart finally composes Kv622 in 1791, with about a month left to his

Okay...enough for now, I'm getting carried away.

> thanks in advance

You're welcome.

J. Shouryu Nohe
Professor of SCSM102, New Mexico State Univ.
"I don't know, and I don't have an opinion." - Jet Black

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