A Grand Duo-The Clarinet and Early Romantics

Author: 
John Warrack

A Grand Duo-The Clarinet and Early Romantics

  • Duo
  • Sonata concertante
  • Caprices, Caprice 1
  • Caprices, Caprice 2
  • Caprices, Caprice 3
  • Schottische Bilder
  • Grand duo concertant

Schumann mourned Norbert Burgmuller’s early death in vivid terms, grieving that, “Fate, instead of decimating the mediocrities, who are encamped around in troops, has taken from us the commanding talent”. Though he does not mention the work specifically, the charmingDuo recorded here supports the warmth and enthusiasm he goes on to express in an eloquent essay. There are suggestions of the lyricism of Schubert, of the brilliance and dash of Weber, but there is also an individual voice which holds much promise for a future that Burgmuller was not granted: he died in 1836 at the age of 26, apparently after a stroke (the consequence, as the French lexicographer Fetis puts it darkly, of “des exces qui ruinerent sa sante”).
Colin Lawson and Neal Peres da Costa respond to the work’s melodic charm and its particular harmonic flavour. In Weber’s own Grand duo, they appear to have listened rather too attentively to his remarks calling for flexibility within a general tempo, with faster passages in slow movements and vice versa. The essence of this is that the basic tempo remains, with deviations relating to it: in the opening Allegro con fuoco, they bring the music practically to a halt in places, constituting not so much flexibility as an actual change in tempo. The fuoco is all but extinguished. It is the Andante which comes off best, and in which Lawson’s sweet-sounding clarinet, a copy of a contemporary Grenser, and da Costa’s Collard piano of 1826 sound most delicately blended. Franz Danzi’s typically amiable, well-written Sonata is nicely played, as are the very seldom heard pieces by Loewe, amusing little semi-pastiches of the vogue for Scottish romanticism rather than of anything specifically Scottish.'

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2018