Clarinet Quintet in A, K.581

Mozart was in love with the sound of the clarinet. He wasn’t able to fully express on paper his adoration for the instrument until the last few years of his life when he met and befriended Anton Stadler. A close friend of Mozart’s and fellow Freemason, Stadler was one of the great clarinetists of Mozart’s time. He was Mozart’s inspiration for this piece as well as the Clarinet Concerto (K. 622). Both this piece and the concerto were written originally for basset clarinet, an instrument whose design was mostly improvisations by Stadler himself. Continue reading “Clarinet Quintet in A, K.581”

Five Bagatelles, Op. 23

Gerald Finzi was an English composer known for his musical imagery. He experienced severe loss early in his life. His father passed away when he was very young; his revered music teacher was killed in France after joining the army; and his three elder brothers passed away, all before Finzi entered his twenties. It may be due to experiencing so much loss that he chose to live in isolation for a time. In the early 1920s, he had moved to Painswick in Gloucestershire to write without distraction. The countryside became his inspiration, and was the same inspiration for composers such as Elgar and Vaughan Williams. It was during this time that he began writing the Five Bagatelles. Continue reading “Five Bagatelles, Op. 23”

Finzi, Gerald

(b London, 14 July 1901; d Oxford, 27 Sept 1956). English composer. The son of a shipbroker, he was educated privately, and studied music with Ernest Farrar (1915-16) then, when Farrar joined the army, with Edward Bairstow at York (1917-22). Continue reading “Finzi, Gerald”