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 Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Basset Horns
Author: Kathy Handyside 
Date:   1999-07-28 14:41

Hi Everyone:

I have a recording of Robert Marcellus and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra performing Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and I was wondering something. I've heard several versions of this concerto and I like Marcellus' version best. It's a recording from 1961. I was wondering if anyone knows what edition (i.e. Barenreiter, Breitkopf etc.) he performed from.

I was also wondering what the difference is between the clarinet and the basset horn. I know the basset horn can play lower notes than the clarinet, but other than that, was it pretty much the same as the clarinet?

Thank you!

Kathy

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 RE: Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Basset Horns
Author: steve 
Date:   1999-07-28 15:40

the world's expert for your questions would be Dan Leeson, a highly respected musicologist and clarinettist who posts on the klarinet-l.

I don't know what edition marcellus used, but I'm sure it's not Fisher/Bellison revision :)...

my sense of Leeson's position is performance of the mozart on anything but a basset clarinet in invalid. indeed, there are wonderful modern recordings (shifrin comes to mind) of the concerto on basset clarinet. However, marcellus' beautiful performance on a normal A clarinet with szell/cleveland at their finest is the recording that made me want to be a clarinettist at age 8...

on the old vinyl recording, the flip side had Mike Bloom (a distant cousin) performing the Strauss Horn concerto...another wonderful performance....Myron signed my copy of the recording when I was ten, but I was nearly 20 years old and an NU student before I got the nerve to ask marcellus to sign it....

s.

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 RE: Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Basset Horns
Author: ted 
Date:   1999-07-28 15:44

A modern basset horn is in the key of F and is very similar to the alto clarinet which is in the key of Eb.

The modern basset clarinet is basically a clarinet in the key of A with the additional length and keywork to extend the lower range to C.

I've heard Mozart's concerto and quintet on the basset clarinet and would certainly recommend listening to recordings on the basset clarinet too.



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 RE: Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Basset Horns
Author: Fred McKenzie 
Date:   1999-07-28 18:34

ted wrote:
-------------------------------
The modern basset clarinet is basically a clarinet in the key of A with the additional length and keywork to extend the lower range to C.

Ted-

A few years ago, a photo was posted of a recreation of the instrument for which Mozart wrote his concerto. Its bell differed from today's clarinet, in that it was more like a bulb than a bell! It was discussed on the old Klarinet List. I do not have a reference to the site where it was posted, but have a copy archived.

Fred


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 RE: Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Basset Horns
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   1999-07-28 19:10

For the basset clar and horn history, look in Groves Dict. prob. in your local library. I enjoyed "playing" a basset horn, since it was similar to my alto cl except for the length and addl. keys to reach low C. I heard Schifrin play the Mozart on the B Cl, it was just great and the too-few low notes really made it for me. Don

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 RE: What's a Basset Horn?
Author: Arnold the basset hornist 
Date:   1999-07-29 06:07

I remember a book of Mr. Saam (or Saams?)

He discribed a basset horn as an alto clarinet but (!) with narrow bore, thin wall, reaching to low C and usually pitched in F.

1. The minimum bore diameter of today's basset horns I know is approx. 15.5 mm (Seggelke, Bamberg, Germany), the maximum is 18.0 mm (Leblanc - same as their alto clarinet). My basset horn (F. A. Uebel) is approx 17.0 mm.
If instrument makers are makeing both alto clarinets and basset horns they do not need to make different mouthpieces if they make them with the same bore diameter.

2. The woodden joints of my basset horn have the same outside diameter as may A clarinet (R. Keilwerth, Germany), which has an bore diameter of approx. 15.0 mm (resp. one or two tenth of a millimeter less)

3. There are also offered alto clarinets (pitched in Eb) reaching to low D or even low C. (Hammerschmidt, Germany)

4. Historic basset horns were also available pitched in G (there exists an uncompelted autograph for the 1st movement of Mozart's concerto for basset horn in G and orchestra - but this concerto seem's to be completed for basset clarinet in A and orchestra). The publishers of some pieces like this had to decide, weather to transpose the basset horn part one major second up or the orchestra one major second down.

I hope this information could help a little (I know, there is no absoluteley clear answer possible)

Arnold, the basset hornist

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 RE: What's a Basset Horn?
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-07-29 11:59

Arnold the basset hornist wrote:
-------------------------------
4. Historic basset horns were also available pitched in G (there exists an uncompelted autograph for the 1st movement of Mozart's concerto for basset horn in G and orchestra - but this concerto seem's to be completed for basset clarinet in A and orchestra).
-------
That's called the Winterthur fragment, and if you go to the Sheet Music/Midi file area here on Sneezy you can dowload your own copy of the manuscript.

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