Father and son Stamitz here demonstrate the versatility of the
clarinet, which was still in its relative infancy when these works
were written. The use of the modern clarinet, whilst making these
work most enjoyable, probably irons out some of the corners which
would have been created by the less sophisticated instrument for
which they were written.
Double Concerto is a lovely work. It has no pretensions
to any real depth of feeling. Even the slow, middle, movement
is quite a fast moving Andante. This is more of a divertimento
than a Concerto for the music contains none of the tension and
dispute normally found in a Concerto. The soloists play together
most of the time, in gentle and relaxed lyricism. But no matter
what the title of the piece, this is a real winner and a delight
to listen to. Indeed, it is exactly the lack of conflict usually
found in a Concerto which makes it such a joy.
Orchestral Quartet is a three movement Suite for string
orchestra. It’s as light as the Concerto which precedes it but,
strangely, contains a stronger sense of purpose. It would
appreciated at any concert of music of this period and would
be a most welcome change from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Although without the total charm of that well known work, it
has an appeal which is all its own.
Stamitz’s Clarinet Concerto is the real thing; a dialogue
between soloist and orchestra. A very serious first movement,
complete with cadenza, gets things off to a good start. There
are good tunes, proper working out of material, always with
the soloist prominent, and a fine grasp of form. The slow movement,
is a kind of aria and is all too short; the finale a lively
dance. The performance is very good but my one complaint is
the huge rallentando at the final cadence of the first movement.
This abruptly puts the brakes on an otherwise delightful exposition
of the music.
are perky, and very enjoyable, performances of clarinet concertos
which aren’t by Mozart! The recordings come from West Deutsches
Radio and they are clean and bright, if without the sparkling
quality we usually expect from digital recordings. Indeed, these
must have been amongst the first digital recordings WDR undertook.
Great fun, quite stylish performances and good sound. Well worth