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Learn about the piece:

Clarinet Concerto No. 2

Composed by

Carl Maria von Weber



solo clarinet, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings

First performance: December 25, 1813. Heinrich Baermann, clarinet soloist.

I. Allegro
II. Romanze: Andante con moto
III. Alla Polacca

notes by Dr. Philip Hoch

One of the wonderful facets of the Redlands Symphony is the close connection we share with the
University of Redlands Conservatory of Music, celebrating its outstanding teaching and
performance opportunities in Southern California and beyond. For tonight’s program, we
welcome and congratulate the 2022 Concerto Competition winner, Jose Luis Becerra III, a junior
at the Conservatory of Music majoring in Clarinet Performance who will perform Weber’s
Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E-Flat Major.

Carl Maria von Weber was another prominent composer from the late Classical period. He was
known as a German composer, conductor, and keyboardist, but primarily for his operatic works.
He was born in Eutin, a small town in the northern part of Germany, to a family embedded in the
arts. Chief among them was his mother, Genovefa—an actress and a singer. Because of her
career, the Webers moved from house to house, from Hamburg to Vienna. While residing in
Salzburg, young Carl attained a comprehensive music education, studying composition with
Michael Haydn, a younger brother of the Classical titan Joseph Haydn. After his studies, Carl
worked as Director for the Breslau Opera in 1802, composing several operas like Silvana (1810)
and Rübenzahl (1805). After being faced with creative exhaustion, Weber resigned from his
position and traveled throughout Germany. While in Munich, Carl made friends with a talented
clarinetist for the Munich royal court, Heinrich Baermann, who encouraged the composer to write
a clarinet concerto for him. The result was the Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E-Flat Major.
The concerto was composed in 1810 and premiered in Munich a year later with Baermann
performing the solo clarinet. An outstanding feature of the concerto as a genre is the many

dramatic contrasting sections between the soloist and the entire orchestra. Each section is full of
color, vibrancy, timbre, and expression, and Weber showcases the solo instruments exquisitely in
his concertos. This concerto is no exception. The first movement, Allegro, loosely follows the
highly-popular sonata-allegro form. The exposition showcases a thrilling march-like theme by the
orchestra. Like Mozart, Weber’s pieces showcase similar qualities with light and airy
characteristics that are stitched together with charm and wit. Following the introduction, the
clarinet enters with dexterous passages of octave jumps and scalar passages, all showcasing the
bright registers of the instrument. The second movement, Andante con Moto “Romanza,”
contrasts with the joyful opening moment. Here, Weber utilizes a melodious movement with lots
of lyricism in the relative minor, G minor. The tone also changes from bright to dark and
showcases the clarinet as an instrument of expression and emotion. The third movement, Alla
Polacca, is a polonaise, a slow ballroom dance that aims to feature the clarinetist and clarinet
equally. The movement is full of technically-demanding passages stitched together through a
series of modulations. A brilliant climax concludes the concerto, where the clarinetist performs a
spirited passage of exciting musical figures with the entire orchestra.

Coming 04/08/23

Beethoven: Three Great Works

Experience the power of Beethoven’s music with three masterworks, including his Eighth Symphony and the Redlands Symphony debut of Trio Arbol.

More Pieces by Carl Maria von Weber

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