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