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8.550345 - MOZART, W.A.: Bassoon Concerto / Oboe Concerto / Clarinet Concerto (Gabriel, Ottensamer, Turnovsky)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Concerto in B Flat for Bassoon and Orchestra, K. 191
The life of Mozart has recently attracted considerable attention, his character distorted to suit modern dramatic requirements and his contemporary achievement thereby belittled. The reality seems to have been rather different. While he may never, as an adult, have achieved the material position that he and his father regarded as his due, he nevertheless won considerable success during the last ten years of his life in Vienna, if never quite able to match the international acclaim that had greeted his appearance in the 1760s as a child prodigy.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756, the son of a court musician, Leopald Mozart, who in 1756 had published an important book on violin technique and who represented a new breed of musician in his breadth of interests and his association with distinguished writers and intellectuals of the day. Neither Leopald nor Wolfgang Mozart were ever to regard themselves as mere craftsmen, whatever the social exigencies of their profession.
In childhood Mozart and his elder sister, Nannerl, travelled widely, performing prodigious musical feats to the amazement of audiences throughout Europe. As an adolescent the harsher reality of life in Salzburg, under a much less congenial patron, Hieronymus Count von Colloredo, the new Archbishop, led to constant dissatisfaction. Opportunities in Salzburg were limited; there was no opera-house and provincial society lacked the allure of Vienna. In 1777 Mozart secured his dismissal from the archiepiscopal service to seek his fortune in Mannheim and Paris, an abortive expedition, during the course of which his mother, who had accompanied him to France, fell ill and died. The journey was a fateful one in that it brought Mozart into contact with the Webers, to be jilted by the eldest daughter of the family, who found a more profitable match. Later he was to marry a younger daughter, Constanze, a step that caused amazement to the Emperor, in view of the bride's lack of money, and consternation to Mozart's father for equally compelling reasons.
By the time of his marriage Mozart has escaped from the drudgery of Salzburg, where he had been re-employed on his return from Paris in 1778. In 1781 he had accompanied the Archbishop of Salzburg to Vienna, where he had finally and irrevocably quarrelled with his patron, after finding himself prevented from making full use of his abilities in the capital.
The final decade of Mozart's life in Vienna brought variable fame and popularity. His operas were successful, in general, and his Singspiel, The Magic Flute, was drawing enthusiastic audiences in 1791, as the composer lay dying in sudden illness that has been the subject of considerable imaginative speculation by later generations.
Mozart wrote a number of piano concertos, principally for his own use, violin concertos played in Salzburg, flute concertos on commission in Mannheim and horn concertos for his Salzburg friend Ignaz Leutgeb. Mozart wrote his only surviving bassoon concerto in Salzburg in 1774, possibly for Freiherr Thaddaeus von Duernitz, an enthusiastic amateur, for whom he later wrote a piano sonata, as well as three other concertos and a bassoon sonata. The concerto, again in three movements, makes splendid use of the solo instrument, with contrasts of register and the necessary elements of display.
C major Oboe Concerto in Salzburg in the spring or summer of 1777, before his autumn departure for Augsburg, designing it for the oboist Ferlendis, who had joined the Archbishop's musical establishment in April that year. In Mannheim, which he reached on 30th October, Mozart met the oboist Friedrich Ramm, a member of the famous court orchestra, and made him a present of the concerto. Ramm, as Mozart told his father, was delighted, and by February was performing it for the fifth time, now, in Mozart's words, his cheval de bataille Pressed for time in his subsequent commission for the amateur flautist De Jean, he arranged the oboe concerto for flute Mozart mentions the oboe concerto once more in a letter to his father written on 15th February 1783 from Vienna. Here he asks for the notebook containing the Ferlendis concerto, since he has been offered three ducats for it by the oboist of Haydns orchestra at Esterháza, and twice that sum for a new concerto.
Oboe Concerto is scored for two oboes, two horns and strings and has ail the clarity of texture that we should expect Alter the orchestral exposition the soloist enters with a brief scale. leading to a sustained high note and the first solo theme.
The slow movement in F major, offers the oboe a sustained aria of great beauty and this is followed by a lively Rondo, into which the soloist leads the way.
His clarinet concerto in A major, K 622, was written for another friend, Anton Stadler, who had settled in Vienna in 1773 to become, with his younger brother, Johann Nepomuk, the first clarinettists to be employed by the Court Orchestra, in 1787.
Anton Stadler, who played second clarinet in the orchestra, made technical changes in the instrument to allow a downward ex1ension and it was for this so-called basset clarinet and for this player that Mozart wrote his concerto a month or so before his death in 1791. The clarinet itself, derived from the earlier single-reed chalumeau, had been developed from the beginning of the eighteenth century It was only towards the end of Mozart's life that it came to be accepted as a permanent element of the orchestra rather than as an occasional and optional substitute for the oboe.
As soloist he has performed in radio productions in Austria and internationally. As a member of the Vienna Bläserensemble and the Neues Wiener Oktett he is extremely active in the field of chamber music. He also was a member of the Concentus Musicus Vienna for many years.
Vienna Mozart Academy The Vienna Mozart Academy is a chamber orchestra formed by leading musicians from the principal orchestras in Vienna, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. The Academy concentrates largely on the music of Mozart, while including other repertoire from the 18th and 19th centuries. Under the direction of Johannes Wildner, the orchestra continues the Viennese tradition and style of Mozart performance.
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