Following our edition of the Grand Concerto in f minor op. 5 (HN 1209), we are expanding our series of Crusell’s clarinet concertos to include the one in B flat major op. 11. The Swedish composer was himself a prominent clarinet virtuoso and the concertos were tailor-made for himself so to speak. Despite being technically very demanding, the Concerto in B flat major avoids being overly virtuosic and wins us over with its melodic ingenuity. It is a very welcome addition to our early Romantic repertoire for the clarinet. The clarinettist Nicolai Pfeffer edited the edition in an exemplary manner, consulting the sole surviving source, the first edition of 1829. Johannes Umbreit was responsible for the piano reduction, which wonderfully fits the hands.
- Clarinet Concerto B flat major op. 11
Bernhard Henrik Crusell (1775 – 1838) was one of the most outstanding clarinet virtuosos of his time. Already in 1793 he was appointed principal clarinettist at the Royal Swedish Court Orchestra in Stockholm, where he played intermittently until 1833. Crusell gave the first Swedish performances of many key works in the repertoire, including concertos by Franz Krommer, … more
About the composer
Bernhard Henrik Crusell
Clarinetist and composer from Finland. During his lifetime his early-Romantic compositions were extremely popular even outside Scandinavia. He wrote challenging concerti for clarinet, as well as chamber music. Stemming from his interest in folk music came songs on texts by Swedish poet Esaias Tegnér. He also translated numerous opera libretti into Swedish.
|1775||Born in Uusikaupunki on October 15.|
|around 1783||He receives clarinet lessons from an army clarinetist.|
|1788||On the initiative of Major Olof von Wallenstjerna he becomes a volunteer in the music corps of the king’s widow’s personal regiment.|
|1790||Moves to Stockholm, where he is appointed director of the regimental band.|
|1793–1833||Appointed by royal music director Georg Joseph Vogler, he becomes first clarinetist of the Court Orchestra.|
|1798||Takes lessons in Berlin with Franz Wilhelm Tausch. Performances in Berlin and Hamburg as soloist.|
|from 1803||Studies composition in Paris with Henri-Montan Berton and François-Joseph Gossec. He meets the first clarinetist of the opera orchestra, Jean-Xavier Lefèvre.|
|1818||He is music director for the military bands of the royal bodyguard infantryman regiments in Stockholm.|
|1822||A trip to Carlsbad takes him through Berlin and Dresden, where he meets Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Carl Maria von Weber, and Giacomo Meyerbeer.|
|1824||His opera Den lilla slavinnan (The Little Slave Girl) is published in Stockholm.|
|1838||Dies in Stockholm on July 28.|
About the authors
Nicolai Pfeffer has done exhaustive research for these editions by consulting the extant early sources.