Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A. Music to make God almost jealous.

Mozart and his period.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The Clarinet Concerto was premiered by people like these.
The Clarinet Concerto was premiered by people like these.

The divine music of Mozart.

One of the greatest things about the great classics of music is how they can connect us so intimately with the people in the past that first thrilled to listen to them. When people listen to A Beatles hit they are transported back to the swinging sixties, and the days of "Flower Power, and early experiments with marijuana and LSD. Likewise when I hear a "Spicegirls" hit, after I am finished throwing up in the corner, I am reminded of the early nineteen nineties, when John Major was Prime Minister, George Bush Snr was US President, and you could still smoke in pubs .

But when my ears are caressed by the divine music of Mozart, the pictures that enter my mind are of beautiful ladies in high wigs, and gentlemen in knee breeches and embroidered coats. Great rooms lit by the light from thousands of candles, sledges on the winter streets of Vienna and Prague, servants who knew their places, musicians who were of the same status of servants, who drank good german beer during the intervals of concerts; aristocratic patrons, who would eat with a famous composer, yet never let their daughters marry one, and just around the corner the horrors of The French Revolution, and blood and guts waiting to be spilled in The Napoleonic Wars.Yet I have just to sit and listen to the beauty that is enfolded for me from a performance of The Clarinet Concerto in A Major, and I have an instant connection with all those disparate characters, who lived over two hundred years ago in the capital of the old Holy Roman Empire.

And how do I know I have that "bond through the ages", you ask? I know because the music that I am listening to has such a profound beauty, that I can guarantee that I, a middle aged irishman, living in a rundown flat, in one of the less desireable areas of London, in the early part of the economically depressed twenty first century, can for a moment, feel the same surge of ecstatic appreciation as was felt by those lucky creatures that were first exposed to it's almost ethereal beauties.

Clarinet concerto in A. Mozart at his best.

The clarinet concerto was one of the last works composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The following December he was lying on his deathbed trying to finish his "Requiem", while his devoted wife, "Constanze" nursed him, in between dealing with importunate creditors at the door. It would be difficult to say that The Clarinet Concerto is Mozart's most beautiful musical creation. When you are writing about a composer whose every composition has the stamp of Heaven on it, how can you single out any one work as the best. But what is certain is that the clarinet, with it's beautiful, almost "brown" tone lends itself wonderfully to bringing out the sublime music of the adagio

.One thing we do know is that we rarely, if ever, get to hear the concerto as it's composer wrote it. The reason for that is because the autograph score is missing. It was auctioned off by Mozart's publisher. It is probably languishing in a trunk in some viennese attic, waiting to make a multi millionaire out of whoever finds it. Anyway as I was saying we dont know exactly how it was originally meant to sound. Mozart wrote the work for basset clarinet, a special clarinet, that had a range down to low (written) C. Since most of the contemporary musicians could not play the special low notes written by the composer, when the concerto was published the publisher changed the solo part to suit a standard clarinet. Various efforts have been made since to restore it, but without Mozart's original score, nobody can be sure that all their efforts are exact.

Nevertheless, we can with great surety say, that when we are listening to a performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, we are listening to music that would encourage God to leave Heaven, if it were not available there.The version of the adagio that I am posting here is accompanied by pictures of vegetables and flowers from the famous Borough Market in London. Evidently "britcrit09", who posted this on You Tube, has as keen an appreciation of the beauties of the vegetable kingdom, as he/she has of those of Mozart's clarinet masterpiece.

Mozart . Clarinet Concerto. Plus Food and Flowers. Sublime. Excuse The Fish.

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Comments 23 comments

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Wonderful video. The music goes without saying - gorgeous, but I say it anyway. Thank you for sharing this, and the history behind it, christopher.

But at times the photos didn't quite measure up. Whole cod peering out of ice seem a bit lacking in proper ambience and then the splash of humor in the sign in the floral scene, "Flour Power" . . . Now I wonder on what britcrit09 actually set out to comment.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Nelleanna.

Nice to hear from you. I hope you didnt eat too much chocolate over Easter.

I must admit some of the pictures were a bit odd. That one of the cod really does kind of "Jump out at you".

My suspicion is that he/she was trying to promote the Borough Market, which is a rather famous one. It's where all the celebrity chefs, and the top London restaurants go to buy their food.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

(smile) - Well, the Easter Bunny gave my chocolate to some younger folks, though I had some dark chocolate bites, which kept the spirit going.


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

Christopher-

Perhaps if I had heard this sublime music 50 some-odd years ago I would have been more diligent with practicing the clarinet my mother insisted I should play.

But, being a bullheaded Welshman born to sing, I had little interest in mastering a wind instrument save my boy soprano. Thank you for sharing this. I listened without watching the video, fearing that, if I did, I may forever associate you and this adagio with a "cod-piece". :{)

Yes, I am incorrigible!

CP


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Nellieanna.

The main thing is that you had a happy Easter.

Hi CP.

I may change that video for a more suitable one, or provide an alternative version. Still some of the pictures are quite nice. I must admit, that the only cod I like comes battered with loads of chips.

And you are incorrigible, but I expect that helps to keep you young, like the "Texan Belle" above.


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Your expertise knows no bounds! I had to listen to the entire piece while gazing at vegtables! Never in my life would I thought something like this would be of any interest to me. However, when one ages, and you hve seen it all...then something like this comes along. Beautiful and up one and be sure to check your email! RJ


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Thanks RJ

The vegetable video wasnt my first choice, but when I looked at facebook for the performance, that I first saw, I couldnt find it, so I settled on the "veggies". I'm kind of glad I did now. They work in a wierd sort of way.

I will be checking my e mail in a little while. I did find your book yesterday. It promises to be a good read.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

As someone who unashamedely likes the Spice Girl's music i may be in urgent need of not only a historical education, but a classical music one too. I'm a brave and foolish man, but a slightly posher one thanks to reading this enlightening hub. An irishman for a teacher, who would have thought it?


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Keith.

Let me paraphrase the great englishman, Doctor Samuel Johnson, re your "irishman for a teacher" comment.

"Sir, an irishman teaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

Cheers.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Well you've put Samuel in his place, but you can't tick me off as i'm an Aussie now don't forget. A step up. (I think) Cheers Chris


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Keith. I wouldnt dream of ticking you off, but I could never become an aussie myself.

I just couldnt deal with corks dangling from my hat.

Cheers my friend.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, I totally agree with you, I love listening to music and 'going back' to the time, I live this period in history, well all history in fact, over a hundred years old, and read a lot of books about that time, and others, it is a shame that his music has been chopped and changed because of bits missing etc, but it is still lovely to listen too, unfortunately I can't hear the video because my 'watch' time is limited at the moment, typical T mobile! but never mind, great hub, cheers nell


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Thanks Nell.

Your Hubs always show a great appreciation of history.

I hope you get to listen to the video sometime.


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills

I too love Classical music and when working from home I always have Classical FM radio playing in the background. Over the Easter weekend they compiled the Classical music top 300 and needless to say Mozart had no less than 20 entries.

Mozart is always a favourite, I take you have seen the Movie Amadeus, not knowing the true history I often wonder if Salieri was as black as he was painted in blighting Mozart's career.

I'm sure any composers at the time would have been extremely jealous up against such an overwhelming talent.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Merlin.

I did see "Amadeus",a good film, but they did take a lot of liberties with the facts.

Mozart wasnt so "idiotic", and Salieri wasnt so evil. They were just competitors really. Music was very competitive then, as there was no copyright laws, and you could only make money, from concerts, or from selling your work for a one off fee. That is one of the reasons why the publisher was able to alter the clarinet concerto. Once he bought it, the composer had no other rights over it.


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 5 years ago from England

Beautiful ,absolutely beautiful I could listen all day !!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Ah, the Spice Girls!

I'm reminded of a Glenn Danzig lyric form The Misfits, the song is "TV Casualties"

"there's a spot in the corner where I always go - I like to feed the flies that I know."

Excellent hub, Christopher, I've been wondering how you were getting along with all of the new content policies. I've been mostly busy trying to "fix" what was deemed "broken."


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Loveslove.

Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.

Hi Wesman. Thanks for the appreciation. I havent really fallen foul of the content policies yet, in fact I am not really sure what they are.

I try to be original, and I have learned not to be too saucy.

That's about how far that it goes.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I wasn't going to publish anything until they were done with their purge. They at least let up on me. Seems that a lot of my pictures were watermarked images. I could actually see watermarks on, maybe, two of the many that were found to be against policy.

I'm not a big hunter - haven't been in more than ten years; but my reviews of sporting shotguns were what made me money here, so obviously Google didn't have a problem with them at all, but Hubstaff certainly does. Oh well - I think that me doing political type articles just isn't a good idea anymore. I get too worked up, alienate folks, and they don't do so great anyway. I should leave politics and guns alone - that actually sounded hilarious!


Fallen Valkyrie 5 years ago

Fantastic hub. Helps that the subject is my all time favorite composer. It's interesting to learn about the original score being altered - I cringe to think of anyone altering the sheer bliss that flows through almost every one of his compositions.

I skipped the video and pulled it up on a playlist instead for the same reason mentioned by someone above me; I couldn't bear to have Mozart mentally connected to odd images that might never leave my head! :-)


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Wesman.

I hope things go more smoothly for you now.

Hi Fallen Valkyrie.

Thanks for reading. Regarding altering scores, in Mozart's day they were all at it. Mozart himself reorchestrated Handel's "Messiah". I havent heard his version, so I dont know whether it was an improvement, or not.

The video is fine really. It just contains some rather odd fish images, but they only last for a few seconds.


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

I love this work - thanks


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi John.

It really is beautiful music. I,m glad you liked it.

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