Sunday, February 28, 2010

Out of this world

Today I was listening to the Mozart Clarinet Quintet which came on my clock radio when I was waking up. I am telling you, if you have to wake up, wake up to this. As I wrote on my other Web log, it filled the morning with magic.

Since then I have been thinking about the two great pieces Mozart wrote for clarinet. They are so much like each other, in the same key, with the same mood. I have thought about that before because it jumps right out at you.

They both have these serene first movements and these slow movements that sound as if they come from the next world. The slow movement of the Clarinet Concerto undoes me. I cannot let myself listen to it very often and I am fussy about where and when I hear it. The Quintet gets me too.

Both clarinet pieces also get kind of loopy in the last movement. It is as if Mozart feels this need to lighten up, after the sorrow of those slow movements.

The Clarinet Trio has a bit of that serenity, too. That moment in the first movement when the clarinet comes in, it just soars. That is the Kegelstatt trio, because he supposedly wrote it while he was bowling. Dear Mozart.

I know Mozart was friends with the clarinetist he wrote these pieces for, a man named Anton Stadler. I remember the name from when I was a kid reading books about Mozart. But I do not think that could explain the feelings these pieces have.

Mozart had a special feeling for the clarinet.

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