Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Unusual concertos [63]: Bass clarinet

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - realizing 60+ this time.

The sixty-third concerto deals with the bass clarinet (image source). We have seen the soprano clarinet (which is the instrument normally referred to simply as clarinet) in post 30. The bass clarinet plays an octave lower, and has been used on many occasions in compositions by the likes of Berlioz, Wagner and Liszt. Concertos for the instrument are rather rare though. I have one in my CD collection, composed by Dietrich Erdmann. It is played by Renate Rusche and the Berliner Philharmoniker under Werner Hagen, available on an MDG CD.

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