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RMCO Work Detail

Title Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K 622
Composer Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Contributor's Name Oliver Roosevelt
Bio Movements: Allegro / Adagio / Rondo: Allegro

Mozart's love of the clarinet began when he was a boy of seven. As a touring prodigy, he first heard the instrument in the Mannheim Orchestra, then in London and Paris. Today's concerto was written for his friend, Anton Stadler, a member of the Imperial Court Orchestra and fellow Freemason. It was the last major work from Mozart's pen before his death.

A week after The Magic Flute premiered he wrote his wife that he had orchestrated the concerto.

The orchestra introduction opens with a gently caressing theme in the strings. The clarinet solo sections all begin on a dynamic and pitch level that brings out the almost velvety, sensuous tone of the instrument. When the solo clarinet takes up the theme the effect is gentler. Touches of melancholy are never far away, even in the sunniest moments of the lively first and third movements.

The slow movement opens with a melody that must be one of the most beautiful ever written. It is sung by the solo clarinet without any orchestra introduction. It is hard to believe this seraphic melody is based on one of the most popular cliches of 18th century classicism -- a phrase used perhaps hundreds of times, by Mozart's contemporaries, but never with this unexplainable magic.


Work record last updated on 07-19-2004