℗ 2019 Münchner Philharmoniker
 

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto

Münchner Philharmoniker, James Levine, Alexandra Gruber

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Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622  
1
I. Allegro
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Münchner Philharmoniker; James Levine; Alexandra Gruber
12:09
2
II. Adagio
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Münchner Philharmoniker; James Levine; Alexandra Gruber
7:16
3
III. Rondo. Allegro
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Münchner Philharmoniker; James Levine; Alexandra Gruber
8:39
Total Playing Time    28:04
Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622, was written in October 1791 for the clarinetist Anton Stadler. As there is no autograph for this concerto and as it was published posthumously, it is difficult to understand all of Mozart's intentions. The only relic of this concerto written in Mozart's hand is an excerpt of an earlier rendition of the concerto written for basset horn in G (K. 584b/621b). This excerpt is nearly identical to the corresponding section in the published version for A clarinet.

Mozart originally intended the piece to be written for basset horn, as Anton Stadler was also a virtuoso basset horn player, but eventually was convinced the piece would be more effective for clarinet. However, several notes throughout the piece go beyond the conventional range of the A clarinet; Mozart may have intended the piece to be played on the basset clarinet, a special clarinet championed by Stadler that had a range down to low (written) C, instead of stopping at (written) E as standard clarinets do.

Even in Mozart's day, the basset clarinet was a rare, custom-made instrument, so when the piece was published posthumously, a new version was arranged with the low notes transposed to regular range. This has proven a problematic decision, as the autograph no longer exists, having been pawned by Stadler, and until the mid 20th century musicologists did not know that the only version of the concerto written by Mozart's hand had not been heard since Stadler's lifetime. Attempts were made to reconstruct the original version, and new basset clarinets have been built for the specific purpose of performing Mozart's concerto and clarinet quintet.

From September 1999 until July 2004, James Levine was Chief Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. With him, the Munich Philharmonic undertook extended concert tours: after a grand European tour in the winter of 2000, it made a guest appearance with James Levine in February 2002 at New York’s Carnegie Hall. In the summer of 2002, they made their joint début at the BBC Proms in London. In the spring of 2003, the Munich Philharmonic was awarded the prize for the "Best Concert Programming of the 2002/2003 Season" by the Society of German Music Publishers.

Alexandra Gruber was born in Freudenstadt in the Black Forest. She studied the clarinet from 1994 to 1999 at the State Music Academy in Stuttgart and as early as this period also played regular performances with the Bachkollegium Stuttgart and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. She twice won prizes at the nationwide "Jugend musiziert" Competition and has appeared as soloist and chamber musician. Since September of 1998, Alexandra Gruber has been solo clarinettist with the Munich Philharmonic.
48 kHz / 24-bit PCM – MUNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER GBR Studio Masters

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