Mendelssohn in all probability composed the sonata for Carl Baron von Kaskel, who was also acquainted with Schumann and Wagner, and who dabbled in playing the clarinet and composing. The autograph of Mendelssohn’s clarinet sonata has only been accessible again since the 1980s. Unfortunately the date at the end of the manuscript has been removed. A copyist’s manuscript of the work that has also survived bears the date "1824". The fairly simple clarinet part might pay tribute to Kaskel’s ability and therefore lends itself to teaching.
- Clarinet Sonata E flat major
At an early age Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–47) already astounded those around him with his extraordinary musical talent. In 1818 he gave his first public performance on the piano, and his first extant compositions date from the year 1820, including two chamber music works with piano. This genre remained a focus of interest for the young composer in the years that … more
About the composer
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
A German composer, conductor, pianist, and organist who already numbered among the most important composers in Europe during his lifetime. While still young he found a unique tonal language. Reflected in his oeuvre, which spans all genres, are the contradictory tendencies of the age – Classicism and Romanticism. His endeavors over the course his life to perform the works of Johann Sebastian Bach led to a “rediscovery” of that composer which continues unabated. His intensive engagement with Bach and his counterpoint influenced his own compositional technique.
|1809||Born into a wealthy banker’s family in Hamburg on February 3. Escape to Berlin with his parents in 1811. First musical instruction from his mother.|
|1819||He becomes a pupil of Carl Friedrich Zelter.|
|1820||Joins the Sing-Akademie in Berlin.|
|1821–23||Twelve sinfonias for strings.|
|1825||String Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20.|
|1826||Overture to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Op. 21|
|1827||Begins studies at the University of Berlin.|
|1829||Revival of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Berlin on March 11 and 21. Travels to England and Scotland.|
|1829–30||“Reformation” Symphony in D minor, [Op. 107], with inclusion of the choral “Ein feste Burg“ (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.)|
|1830–32||Extended travels, including to Italy and France. Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 25; Overture in B minor, Op. 26, “The Hebrides, or Fingal’s Cave” (1829–30).|
|1833||Music director in Düsseldorf. “Italian” Symphony in A major, Op. 90 (1830–33).|
|1835||Director of the Gewandhaus concerts in Leipzig.|
|1836||Premiere in Düsseldorf of his oratorio “St. Paul: Oratorio on Words of the Holy Bible,” Op. 36.|
|1838-44||Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64.|
|1840||Composition of “Hymn of Praise, a Symphony-Cantata on Words of the Holy Bible,” Op. 52.|
|1841||Berlin, in the service of the Prussian king. “Variations sérieuses” in D minor, Op. 54, for piano.|
|1842||Completion of Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”) in A minor, Op. 56, with a songlike opening.|
|1843||Incidental music to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Op. 61. Director of the newly founded Leipzig Conservatory.|
|1846||Premiere of his oratorio “Elijah,” Op. 70, in Birmingham.|
|1847||String Quartet in F minor, [Op. 80]. Death in Leipzig on November 4.|
About the authors
...während der Klavierpart durchaus recht virtuose Passagen erhält, ist die Klarinettenstimme vergleichsweise leicht zu spielen. Was die Sonate – im Übrigen ein "echter Mendelssohn" mit zum Dahinschmelzen schönen Harmonien, weit ausschwingenden Melodien und geheimnisvollen Presto-Passagen in Moll – zu einem perfekten Kandidaten für den Unterricht macht. Dass Henle-Herausgeber Herttrich für diese Ausgabe eifrig Gebrauch von dem erst seit wenigen Jahren wieder zugänglichen Autograph gemacht hat und als Ergebnis eine exzellente Urtext-Ausgabe erstellt hat, sei ebenfalls vermerkt.
Il repertorio per fiati ritrova un pezzo che sembrava perduto. I clarinettisti, in particolare, ringraziano.