Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major, K 622
Either back in Jr high or early high school I decided to become a musician and play an instrument. As the only one available was a clarinet my parents got for my older sister, it was what I tried to learn to play. I quickly gave up on the idea and as far as I know that clarinet is still in our old farm house that has since collapse in on itself.
I have always loved listening to the clarinet and this piece is no exception but what I love here is the performance of Arngunnur Árnadóttir, the lady soloing on the clarinet. She just keeps playing and keeps playing, what amazing stamina.
This piece was published after Mozarts death. and has an interesting back story
“As there is no autograph for this concerto and as it was published posthumously, it is difficult to understand all of Mozart’s intentions. The only relic of this concerto written in Mozart’s hand is an excerpt of an earlier rendition of the concerto written for basset horn in G (K. 584b/621b). This excerpt is nearly identical to the corresponding section in the published version for A clarinet.
Mozart originally intended the piece to be written for basset horn, as Anton Stadler was also a virtuoso basset horn player, but eventually was convinced the piece would be more effective for clarinet. However, several notes throughout the piece go beyond the conventional range of the A clarinet; Mozart may have intended the piece to be played on the basset clarinet, a special clarinet championed by Stadler that had a range down to low (written) C, instead of stopping at (written) E as standard clarinets do.
Even in Mozart’s day, the basset clarinet was a rare, custom-made instrument, so when the piece was published posthumously, a new version was arranged with the low notes transposed to regular range.”