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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000782.txt from 2000/07

From: Spike Spiegel <jnohe@-----.edu>
Subj: Re: [kl] Weber Concerto derived from Mozart?
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 17:56:10 -0400

On Sat, 22 Jul 2000, les debusk wrote:

> I had come across an article which stated that Webers Concertos were thought
> upon when/after Mozart wrote his famous clarinet concerto..

I personally don't feel they follow each other very well at all - any
similarities in the two are certainly over shadowed by the vast
differences.

Let's think about it in this perspective - what was Mozart best known for?
A hell of a lot of stuff; the guy was about as multifunctional as they
come...sacred music, secular music, opera, symphonies, concerti, sonatas,
chamber music...You can't really pin Mozart down to one particular area
that he is really known for.

Weber, on the other hand, is primarily known amongst musicians in general
as the first German opera composer to put something GOOD on stage. Second
to that, Weber is known among clarinettists for his brilliantly technical
works. Weber's music succeeds on the merit of its TIMING, and good
dramatic opera THRIVES on perfect timing (comic opera, too - gawd, Nozze
di Figaro is a RIOT, but probably wouldn't be half as funny if Mozart
didn't set up one gag right after the next the way he did).

If you listen to a general sampling of Mozart's work, including K622,
I think you'll find that each genre has it's own general feel and form of
uniqueness, while still remaining Mozart to the core. The concerti sound
like concerti, the chamber works sound like chamber works, the operas
sound like operas. Weber, on the other hand...well, to ME, anyways...his
operas sound like his operas, and his clarinet concerti sound like
operas, and his clarinet chamber works sound like operas. I think this is
simply where Mozart and Weber seriously deviate from each other - Mozart's
concerto is a clarinet concerto, mostly expressing the clarinet's mirthful
abilities, whereas Weber's concerti are clarinet operas, which are
FANTASTICALLY dramatic.

> do you think that Mozart's tone and way or composer in his concerto
> rubbed off onto weber's clarinet concerto?..

Mozart's tone? You mean STADLER's tone? Mozart didn't play.

I can't really give an accurate guess (which, if I could, it would still
be vague) as to HOW Stadler played, but I can make some assumptions based
on what I do know.

1. Mozart ADORED Stadler's playing.
2. Mozart did not care for Beer's playing (or Beer himself, for that
matter.)

Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume that Stadler did NOT have
Beer's sound.

*Prepares to be crucified by Dan the Man*

Beer was the founder of the French school, and had at one point, been
infamous for his 'bright' tone (which caused the Germans to take a better
liking to Tausch and a dislike to Beer), which, for at least the first
part of his career, was caused by playing with the mouthpiece turned
around. However, during a tour through Belgium, he encountered another
player who had his mouthpiece reed down, and liking that sound better, he
adjusted his own embouchure accordingly. I do, however, think (but can't
remember for certain at the momemt) that this happened before the French
embraced him.

So, we might reasonably think that Stadler had a less bright tone than
Beer.

Weber, on the other hand...that's just as hard to pin down, simply becuase
his clarinettist, Baermann, had studied with both Beer and Tausch, the two
most opposite and most famous players of their time. As I stated before,
Beer was known for his tonal brilliance, but even moreso for his technical
agility and fantastic range (a little of which he lost when he first made
the mouthpiece adjustment). Tausch seemed to have a reputation for a
mellowness of sound, and rich tonal nuance. However, if I remember
correctly, Baermann studied with Tausch longer than he did with Beer, so
it's more likely that his sound resembled that of Tausch.

So, my guess? Stadler and Baermann COULD have had completely different
tones, but if they did, neither of their tones took after Beer. But I
think it's more likely that their sounds were more similar than
dissimilar, and as a result, Mozart and Weber had a similar tone in their
ear when writing.

But this is, of course, all hearsay, as I'm certain Dan will step and out
and remind me. (He'll probably also remind me that my nonsense about
French and German schools is nonsense, too. *grin*)

J. Shouryu Nohe
http://web.nmsu.edu/~jnohe
Professor of SCSM102, New Mexico State Univ.
"Never put passion before principle. Even when win, you lose."
-Miyagi-san, KKpt.II

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