Clarinet Concertos Nos. 1 and 2; Concerto for 2 Horns: By Antonio Rosetti
Francesco Antonio Rosetti (c. 1750-June 30, 1792, German-Czech, born Franz Anton Rösler, changed to Italianate form by 1773) was a classical era composer and double bass player, and was a contemporary of Haydn and Mozart. Rosetti was born around 1750 in Litomìøice, a town in Northern Bohemia, and was originally called Franz Anton Rösler. He is believed to have received early musical training from the Jesuits. In 1773 Rosetti left this native country and joined the Hofkapelle of Prince von Öttingen-Wallerstein, whom he served for sixteen years, before becoming Kapellmeister to the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1789. In 1777, he married Rosina Neher, with whom he had three daughters. In 1781 he was granted leave to spend five months in Paris. Many of the finest ensembles in the city performed his works. Rosetti arranged for his music to be published, including a set of six symphonies published in 1782. He returned to his post, assured of recognition as an accomplished composer. He died only half a year after Mozart on June 30, 1792.
Rosetti wrote a great deal of music, including many symphonies, concertos and vocal works. He is perhaps best known today for his horn concertos, which Mozart scholar H. C. Robbins Landon suggests (in The Mozart Companion) may have been a model for Mozart's four horn concerti. Rosetti is also known for writing the Requiem (1776) which was played at a memorial for Mozart in December 1791.
Antonio Rosetti, who was almost always mentioned in the same breath as Mozart and Haydn by his contemporaries, composed over 40 symphonies, about six dozen solo concertos and chamber music and a considerable number of sacred vocal works.
Ranked among his greatest achievements in the latter genre are the large-scale passion oratorio "Jesus in Gethsemane" and the "Hallelujah" cantata. Both show the virtuoso mastery of a whole array of musical techniques.
Thanks to their melodic ingenuity, sophisticated harmony, a distinctive sense of proportion and the, as always, accomplished manipulation of orchestral tones, both of these late works are counted among Rosetti's most meaningful creations. These three concertos, two for clarinet and one for two horns, offer eloquent testimony to his high powers of invention and consummate craftsmanship. Rosetti wrote on an expansive scale: all three works feature fully developed opening movements, and the slow movements of the clarinet concertos, both subtitled "Romanze", boast a lyric beauty worthy of Mozart. Toss a couple of folk-inspired rondo finales into the mix, and the result is thoroughly winning. The performers seem to be enjoying themselves immensely. Clarinetist Dieter Klöcker in particular deserves credit for reviving so much unknown wind music of the classical period. A friend of mine, who works for the local classical music station, remarked recently that he was surprised at just how good the music of some of the "other" classical composers (i.e. not Haydn and Mozart) really is. He was right, and here's further proof.
The total time for this CD runs 60:08
Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra No.1 in E flat major 21:43
I. Allegro assai 10:46
II. Romanze. Adagio un poco 6:39
III. Rondo. Allegro molto 4:18
Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra No.2 in E flat major 18:47
I. Allegro 9:11
II. Romanze. Adagio con tanto 5:47
III. Rondo. Allegro scherzante 3:49
Concerto for Two Horns and Orchestra if F major (1785-88) 19:39
I. Grave - Allegro con brio 9:28
II. Andante 5:22
III.Rondo. Allegretto 4:49
Dieter Klöcker gets a full-bodied rich fruitful tone from his clarinet, from all three registers, making this some very wonderful music to be heard. This CD is well worth the money for music that can't be heard or is seldom heard on a mass basis
The Principals and Instrumentation:
Dieter Klöcker, Clarinet
Klaus Wallendorf, 1st Horn
Sarah Willis, 2nd Horn
Holger Schroter-Seebeck, violinist, conductor and artistic director
Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra of Baden-Baden and Freiburg
This is a CPO recording with a SPARS Code: DDD, the recording date was June 2-5, 1998, at Hans Rosbaud Studio des SWR Baden-Baden. This CD was made and engineered in Germany. The CPO label brings music to the audiophile that is seldom or never heard in the large concert halls, thus giving the listener a treat. Some of these recording are first time recordings and can't be found on other labels. Just listening to these concertos I found the music is very pleasant, structured well and exhibit true tonal colors of the instruments. The spatial dimension is very good as you can place the position of every instrument, along with the depth in the musical recording, gives the listener a full-bodied sound.