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Tag: Clarinet Quintet – Mozart

Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet in B♭ Major, Op. 34 – Carl Maria von Weber

Carl-Maria-Von-Weber

              Carl Maria von Weber

                        ________

though I’d considered heading into 
later string quartets, later clarinet
quintets actually, an intriguing, I 
thought, divergence, it seemed a 
better idea to return to the 
Classical and early Romantic 
Periods to find an anchor for our  
formative musical idiom, again
rhythm, tonality, and recurrence

Carl Maria von Weber does an 
intermediate Clarinet Quintet
between Mozart’s and Brahms’,
which is noteworthy for especially
its Classical roots than its 
Romantic pretensions, I think, 
Weber sounds nothing like 
Beethoven, but is a nearly spitting
image of Mozart, which isn’t a bad
position at all to be in

listen for his courtliness, the staid,
though lively, musical interactions

you’ll note that the clarinet, though 
to one side, takes preeminence in
this composition – it’s nearly even 
a clarinet concerto – Weber called 
it a Quintet for Clarinet and Strings,
a perhaps more apt appellation

appellations, incidentally, remain 
the means by which we sharpen 
our understanding, however 
presumptuous might the term 
sound, appellations, in other 
words, count

though I could’ve used, I suppose, 
nomenclature, or something 


R ! chard

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Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115 – Johannes Brahms

the-wanderer-above-the-sea-of-fog.jpg!Blog

    “The Wanderer above a Sea of Fog / 

            “Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer (1818)   

          Caspar David Friedrich

                     ___________

                              for Collin, who’ll appreciate
                                        especially, I’m sure, the 
                                             Chopin


while I’m on the subject of clarinet quintets,
since there are so few significant ones, let 
me pull Brahms’ out of my hat and celebrate 
it, a worthy challenge to Mozart’s own utter
masterpiece

but over a century has gone by, it’s 1891, 
Beethoven, the French Revolution, the 
Romantic Era is reaching its end, ceding 
to Impressionism, after the disruptions of 
rampant industrialization, and its 
consequent effects on the social contract

Marx has proposed a theoretical master 
plan to equitably protect the rest of us 
from the 1%, however too politically 
fraught, eventually, such a system – see
Communism

furthermore, Darwin had suggested that 
we weren’t all descended from Adam and 
Eve, but from larvae, which is to say, 
millennially morphed, modified, through
time, genetically, leading to festering still 
ideological  objections

Elizabeth Barrett Browning had written 
her unadulterated love poems to her 
husband, RobertCaspar David 
Friedrich had shown us his wanderer’s 
back while facing the mountainous 
challenges of the upcoming world, 
godless now after NietzscheAnna 
Karenina had thrown herself in front 
of a train, Madame Bovary had taken 
poison, and Ibsen‘s Nora had left her 
husband for a fraught, if not even 
dangerous, life on her own, to escape 
his safe but insufferable dominance, 
while Jane Eyre was finding ghosts
in her cobwebbed, and insufferable, 
to my mind, though admittedly  
aristocratic, attic 


you’ll note the clarinet is not sitting
centre stage, but has nevertheless 
a place at the table, by this time, 
though not not honoured, familiar,
and is more integrated to the 
conversation, the idea of democracy 
has taken hold, with everyone having
an equal, and even a vociferous, say

Brahms modelled his Clarinet Quintet,
on Mozart’s, the Classical structure is 
still the same, movements, tonality, 
musical recurrence, all to wonderful 
effect

that he would do that is not a given, 
but a tribute to the power of that form, 
take the waltz for instance, alive from 
even before Strauss, not to mention 
Chopin, to approximately the middle 
of the Twentieth Century

think about it, who waltzes anymore,
though they might’ve enchanted still, 
residually, the  50’s – see Patti Page
for instance – its lustre having 
dissipated, with the wind, as it were, 
the gust, before us, of the unending 
ages 


R ! chard