Bernard Crusell, a virtuoso clarinetist, a conductor, and the best known Finnish composer before Sibelius composed music rooted in the late classical era showing the influence, in particular of Mozart. The clarinet writing as found in his Clarinet Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op 2 is not surprisingly, quite idiomatic as well as soloistic; the Quartet emerging as a virtual concertante with strings. Clarinetist Chad Burrow, violinist Katrin Stamatis, violist Mark Neumann and cellist Jonathan Ruck perform the work on the third evening of the Festival.
By his own account Franz Schubert set about writing his Octet in F Major for winds and strings as a means of preparing himself to write a full-scale orchestral work using as a model, Beethoven’s Op 20 Septet. In six movements the piece is scored for clarinet, bassoon, horn, string quartet and double bass and offers musicians ample opportunities to display dazzling musicianship within masterfully instrumental textures. Presented on the opening concert, the performance features violinists Gregory Lee and Katrin Stamatis, violist Mark Neumann, cellist Jonathan Ruck, double-bassist George Speed, clarinetist Chad Burrow, bassoonist Carl Rath and hornist Kate Pritchett.
Listen this Saturday evening at 8:00 on Classical 88.7-1.