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Peter von WINTER (1754-1825)
Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, in Eb (1793) [22:30]*
Trois Sinfonies à grand orchestre: No 3 in B (1780) [18:47] *
Aria "Torni al tuo sen la calma" for Soprano, Clarinet Obbligato and Strings (1788) [8:40] *
Trois Sinfonies à grand orchestre: No 2 in F (1780) [14:34] *
Dieter Klöcker, clarinet; Isolde Siebert, soprano
Southwest German Chamber Orchestra, Pforzheim/Johannes Moesus
Recorded at Karlsruhe, SWR-Studio, Sendesaal, 4-5, 9-10 April 2002
Premiere Recordings*
ORFEO C 192 041 A [64:58]

This finely produced, researched and recorded CD from Orfeo contains music by a composer the excellently written liner-note refers to as "one of the most comprehensively forgotten composers ... from a period widely regarded as the golden age of the clarinet".

Dieter Klöcker adds to his already impressive repertoire list with this delightfully freewheeling concerto and aria. The leaps between registers and the alacrity he displays in accomplishing them make this a "must-have" for clarinet devotees. Some of the passage work is dizzyingly deft as well as downright demonic in its complexity. The second movement "Adagio" is nearly four minutes of pastoral perfection. Not exactly what one would describe as "pretty", its songlike qualities resemble an opera aria in the use of the bass instruments to support the soloist's harmonics. The third movement is a set of variations on a popular, dance-like theme followed by a polacca where genuinely virtuosic elements come into play.

The aria, featuring soprano Isolde Siebert, is written in the style of a scene from an Italian opera seria. Apparently, von Winter wrote a number of these during his long career as Kapellmeister to the Bavarian Royal Court. As far as anyone can tell, this scene may have been written for an opera that was never completed. Regardless of its provenance, it beautifully showcases both soloists in over eight minutes of dramatic vocalization and instrumental virtuosity.

The two "sinfoniae" show von Winter to be a genius of orchestral color and economy. By the 1780s most works with this title were in four movements, but the composer expresses the full musical identity of each work in only three. The fugal finale of the sinfonie No 3 is imbued with the genuine spirit of a divertimento including solo contributions from both oboe and bassoon. The "Rondo Allegro" which concludes the sinfonie No 2 is a whirlwind of eclectic Italianate dynamics usually associated with the Mannheim school, of which the composer can truly be said to be a leading exponent. Enthusiastically recommended.

Gregory W. Stouffer

A whirlwind of eclectic Italianate dynamics ... a leading exponent of the Mannheim school. Enthusiastically recommended. ... see Full Review

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