An operatic spirit informs the clarinet concertos of Carl Maria von Weber, and he clearly suggests a dramatic vocal style in his fantastic writing for the instrument. If the short, contrasting movements of the Concertino in E flat are evocative of scenes in a modest melodrama, then the much more expansive movements of the two concertos are, comparatively, like full acts, replete with vivid scene painting and heightened emotionalism, in the vein of Der Freischütz or Euryanthe. Alessandro Carbonare, clarinetist and leader in these performances with the Haydn Sinfonie-Orchester Bozen, seems attuned to the dark impulses in the Concerto No. 1 in F minor, and the implied drama plays out through his solo part, alternating between Sturm und Drang pathos and exuberant displays of coloratura technique. The Concerto No. 2 in E flat is brighter in tone and quite martial in its fanfares, and one might imagine the clarinet's role as the triumphant hero, home from battle. Carbonare plays with confidence and more than a little bravura, and directs the ensemble to provide vigorous support. The Sextet for two clarinets, two bassoons, and two horns is jovial but unnecessary filler, and it seems oddly placed after the concertos. Arts offers fine sound quality on this audiophile disc.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Concertino for clarinet & orchestra in E flat major, J. 109 (Op. 26)|
|Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, J. 114 (Op. 73)|
|Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, J. 118 (Op. 74)|
|Adagio and Rondo for 2 clarinets, 2 french horns & 2 bassoons ("Harmonie"), J. Anh. 31|