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Johann Wenzel KALLIWODA (1801-1866)
Overture No.12 Op.145 (1843) [9.23]
Introduction and Variations for clarinet and orchestra Op.128 (1844) [12.20]
Introduction and Rondo for horn and orchestra Op.51 (1833) [9.02]
Symphony No.3 Op.32 (c.1830) [34.25]
Dieter Klöcker (clarinet)
Radovan Vlatkovic (horn)
Hamburg Symphony Orchestra/Johannes Moesus
rec. Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg-Harburg, May 2005

This company has the knack for unearthing little nuggets of nineteenth century repertoire. Here the attention is focused on Prague-born Kalliwoda, for decades Kapellmeister at the court of the prince in Donaueschingen, whose circumscribed career never quite effaced his touring or stunted his ambitious compositional programme. Retirement for Kalliwoda, at the age of sixty-five, however proved unpropitious - no sooner had he moved to join his family in Karlsruhe than he was dead.
The programme here acts as a pleasing concert – an overture, a clarinet and orchestra feature, than one for horn and orchestra and then finishing with the big Third Symphony. The most obvious feature of his composition is its indebtedness to Weber. The woodland horn of the Overture certainly reinforces this debt though the noble statement of the Fürstenberg Anthem – as a princely mark of respect – attests to his proto-nobilmente spirit. A slight lack of detailing in the recording – here and throughout – tends to give rather a diaphanous gauze with resulting loss of detail and impact.
The Introduction and Variations was originally a four-handed piano work, here expertly reworked for clarinet and orchestra. Dieter Klöcker exploits a full, rich tone in this work, where he proves adept at unfolding those Weber-like operatic curlicues and digs into the early quasi-cadenza. His colleague, the distinguished Radovan Vlatkovic, performs the Introduction and Rondo, originally written for hunting or valve horn, with total command. The orchestration here is rather subservient with the exception of some bucolic drones in the lower strings and a certain amount of peasant picnickery; the best moments, other than the soloist’s security in both high and lowest registers, are those little moments when the solo horn indulges in dialogues with solo orchestral winds.
The Symphony was lauded in Leipzig. And it is a strong work, long on Sturm und Drang and noble Weber horn harmonies, part late-Haydn, part early-Mendelssohn maybe - to be crude. There’s a stern first movement fugato and some hints of early romanticism in the writing of the Poco Adagio – though even more notable is Kalliwoda’s string divisions and wind writing, which is ear-catching. The Minuet has bustly terpsichorean drive and if the finale is rather four-square and predictable it is certainly not a bore. It’s a most pleasing work – nothing shattering or original but thoroughly well absorbed, clearly laid out and expert.
The notes are helpful and not too technical but as noted earlier the sound is sometimes rather spread so there’s a slight loss of immediacy. But that shouldn’t put off the determined collector. Rare repertoire well performed deserves admiration.
Jonathan Woolf


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