Concert Report

949 words - 4 pages

There are lots of exceptional musical pieces composed by famous musical legends such as, the German music composer, aesthete, and influential music critic, Robert Schumann; who composed Symphony No. 4 in D-minor, Op. 120 in 1851. Or the distinguished Wolfgang Mozart, a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era, who composed over 600 works; one of which is Concerto in A-major for Clarinet and Orchestra, k. 622. These two musical masterpieces were performed at the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Mondavi Center, under the name of Spain 2012 on March 11, 2012; along with prelude “L’apres-midi d’un faune” by Claude Debussy. In this paper, I will be comparing the work of R. Schumann, Symphony No. 4, to the Clarinet Concerto, of W. Mozart; in effort to point out the major similarities and differences in these two artistic pieces of music.
Beginning with W. Mozart’s music piece, Concerto in A-major for Clarinet and Orchestra, it was originally written for the outstanding basset clarinet of Anton Stadler, towards the end of 1791. This work of art was one W. Mozart's final completed works and his final purely instrumental work as for he dies in December following its completion. Unfortunately, according to the program notes, the concerto does not survive in its original form as W. Mozart had written it, but is generally heard as an adaptation of unknown authorship dating from about 1800. The concerto consists of three movements, in a fast-slow-fast form: Allegro, Adagio, Rondo: Allegro; and the instrumentation for this concerto is kept relatively small and simple, consisting of solo clarinet, two flutes, two bassoons, two horns and strings; interestingly leaving no room for cadenza, an instrument we would normally expect to find during the classical era.

The Clarinet Concerto of W. Mozart is distinguished by the skillful, minute interaction between the solo clarinet and the supporting orchestra, also for the low demonstrative display of the solo clarinet. The first movement: Allegro begins with an orchestral statement of the main theme. Then the theme is repeated by the solo clarinet, creating a more desolate atmosphere. Eventually the music develops into a dramatic turn after a tutti, leading back to the main theme, where the Alberti bass and arpeggios for the solo clarinet are restated, then ending the movement in a relatively more joyful tutti in A major. The second movement: Adagio, written in ternary form ABA, begins with the solo clarinet playing the main theme of the concerto, with the orchestra restating the theme again. Although this movement starts with a tranquil feel, it develops into a more forceful, enthusiastic tone. Finally the third movement Rondo: Allegro has a happier refrain, but occasionally recalling the melancholy mood from the first movement, also creating quiet music, silence, which I felt were a big part of the musical piece. Overall, the Clarinet Concerto is best portrayed in Brian Robins’ words “valedictory and...

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