Chamber & Orchestral Music for Winds & Brass.

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Chamber & Orchestral Music for Winds & Brass.

I trust we have covered, in one or the other way, the Strings in Chamber or Orchestra Music (Sonatas, String Quartets, Quintets, Concertos etc.). I wonder whether you have indulged in Chamber or Orchestral Music with Winds or Brass instruments (Sonatas, Trios, Quartets or Quintets with one single wind or brass instrument, or Concertos for one or even multiple instruments in combination of even strings and winds/brass instruments).

Since the subject is quite vast, depending on your interest, we may proceed in any possible way. I would pefer to start with the most "concertante" of these instruments, like the Clarinet, but, if you wish to move more freely, no problem at all.

Of course, there is an extended discography of this wide repertory. So, reference to any specific great, meaningful recordings is more than welcome (Recently, for example, we had from Warner a wonderful triple CD set with the most signifcant works for Wind Quartet/Quintet and Piano).

Parla

 

Partitas, and the Gran one

I may revisit some Fr Krommer.

For clarinet in particular,

For clarinet in particular, there is plenty of chamber music, from the end of 18th century onward. I suppose you don't pretend to include Harmoniemusik (serenades, divertimentos, etc)?

There might be a lot of it but not that much that made it into the main repertoire. Mozart's and Brahms' works are obviously them, and they happen to be some of the composers most popular (and finest) music. Mozart's trio might not be so often heard but is as beautiful as his quintet, incredibly fine music. And IMHO Brahms' clarinet quintet is a strong candidate to be his greatest work, the work of a genius who finally had nothing left to prove to anyone. Together with his trio and two sonatas, and Mozart's trio and quintet they make a group a pieces that everyone should know and cherish.

But surely we all know that and it is a case of uncovering some not-so-well known works.

Much as I revere Mozart above

Much as I revere Mozart above all other composers, I have never really taken to the clarinet quintet or the concerto. (Before anyone asks: yes, I know them very well. I have played them, actually...........though not for a few years.) I've always preferred the clarinet trio. It is one of my all time favourite pieces, and is up there with the six "Haydn" quartets, the late piano sonatas (K533 especially), and the piano quartets.

I won't insists on Mozart's

I won't insists on Mozart's quintet then. I agree that his trio is incredible. I know you have your doubts about Brahms. Are you familiar with his clarinet quintet Jane?

Familiar......yes. I have

Familiar......yes. I have listened to it. But I don't know it very well and have found it very hard going. The gentle lyrical moments are lovely, but then a hyper-passionate, super-romantic climax always seems to be around the next corner. I don't know if it is case of not listening enough or just personal taste. Whatever it is that turns my stomach in Romantic music, I seem to find in Brahms more than anyone else. I listened to the clarinet trio yesterday actually - or tried to - and just had to turn it off. I prefer a little more restraint.

The thing is that the quintet

The thing is that the quintet is at the same time some of his most restrained music and some of his most emotionally affecting. I think he manages both. It has some of his usual themes, like the gympsy music of the adagio trio or the variations in the last movement, or the yearning climaxes of the first sonata movement.

I think this is the kind of music you might want to try in your new system and see what happens, because it will benefit from the better sound. It is Brahms' greatest achievement as an "orchestrator" and the beauty of the sound is almost impressionistic. At any rate there is a clear interest in focusing in the beauty of the souds as essential part of the music, with no relation to thematic processes.  All four movements are fantastic but the first one is the absolute glory.

Brahm's music is always telling stories, within the confines of the classical forms. His rhetoric can sometimes be easy to miss -or one get lost in it- but insistence pays, in my experience. This quintet is pretty amazing music.

janeeliotgardiner wrote:I

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

I listened to the clarinet trio yesterday actually.... prefer a little more restraint...

It actually makes me wonder what you make of his second string quintet! :)

I'll have a listen to the

I'll have a listen to the Brahms 1st mvt clarinet quintet tonight.........any versions to recommend? I've only got Thea King/Allegri quartet. (Lots of vibrato...............)

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

I've only got Thea King/Allegri quartet

 

That is a good one

Franz Krommer's contribution to Clarinet Music.

Franz Krommer was such a prolific, skillful and delightful composer. Unfortunately, there are not enough recordings and, most distressfully, there is little interest by the general public and, subsequently, the recording companies.

Particularly, for the Clarinet, he wrote three wonderful Concertos, one delightful Concertino and a great Concerto for two Clarinets. He composed as well a marvelous Clarinet Quintet in B flat and about six quite idiomatic Clarinet Quartets along with some more exclusive minor works, like the 13 Pieces for two Clarinets, Op.47.

For the Concertos, there are some quite reliable recordings. I found the one in Naxos with Kalman Berkes (includes the two main Concertos and the one for two Clarinets) a real bargain. For a more refined and polished recording, you may look for Tudor's Eduard Brunner's account, in more than one CD but with the benefit of getting more Concertos from neglected but excellent for the instrument composers (Eybler, Hummel etc.).

Eduard Brunner has served brilliantly the Quintet as well, in an excellent production of Tudor. As for the Clarinet Quartets, CPO has recorded all 6 of them, while Tudor five of them in two different CDs along with other works.

A quite notable composer, who also wrote enough for the Flute, Oboe and so on...Scarce recordings though.

Parla

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