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The Solo Instrument
· Mozart originally intended the solo part to be played on a
basset horn, a type of clarinet that is lower in range than
the standard one.
· When Mozart completed the work for Anton Stadler, he
transposed it to A major, but some notes are still too low
for the modern clarinet in A.
· The first performance was given on the basset clarinet,
designed by Stadler himself, which extends a 3rd below the
bottom note of modern clarinets.
· When the concerto was published in 1801 the lowest notes
were moved up to suite the standard clarinet, but scholars
have more recently been able to reconstruct the original
basset horn.…read more

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Late 18 Century Changes
· This was an age of experiment and rapid development in
instrument technology, composers and performers desired
to extend the range of instruments and they wanted to
improve their intonation and reliability.
· They sought increased power, greater agility and a wider
range of tone colour and expressiveness. The piano
replaced the harpsichord as the main keyboard instrument
and various approaches were taken to improve wind
instruments by adding extra keys.
· Although the clarinet had been heard before across Europe
during the 2nd half of the 18th century, Mozart first realised
its potential and used it whenever players were available.
Stadler's playing was admired by Mozart and they had
known each other for a while and become good friends.…read more

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Clarinet Concerto
· A concerto is composed for an orchestra where one or more
soloists play a prominent part. The solo music stands out from
the orchestra's accompanying role by being more showy and
expressive in technical terms. Mozart wrote concertos for
many solo instruments including piano, violin, flute, oboe,
bassoon and horn.
· Mozart had been struggling financially and working hard to
establish his reputation as a composer in Vienna, his self-
promotion came from the piano concertos and playing at his
annual series of subscription concerts.
· In the late 18th century concertos consisted of three
movements ­ fast-slow-fast order. The last one was more
energetic and a light-hearted rondo. In Mozart's rondo finales
the typical compound time is found in this clarinet concerto.…read more

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· The basic principle of a rondo is that the main
section, known as the refrain, keeps coming
back between episodes which are slight
· The soloist introduces the main themes while
the orchestra supplies an accompaniment and
marks out the structure by rounding off
sections with it's own melodies, sometimes
joined by the soloist.…read more

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Structure of Rondo
Section Bars Principal Keys
A 0-56 Tonic (A major)
B 57-114 Tonic Dominant (E major and E minor)
(A) 114-137 Tonic V of F# minor (relative minor)
C½ 137-178¹ F# minor D major (subdominant)
(A) 177-187 D major V of A major
B 188-246 Tonic (A major and minor) Dominant
A 247-301 Tonic (A major)
Coda 301-353 Tonic ( A major). Bars 320-353 = A
Sections shown as (A) are shortened versions of the refrain. The
coda (a concluding section that affirms the tonic key) includes a
final statement of the refrain. All sections do pass through other
keys as well.…read more

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