Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Op. 74, Mvt. 1 Allegro (with piano)
Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Op. 74, Mvt. 1 Allegro by Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
Arranged by T. Conway Brown
von Weber wrote his Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E♭ major, Op. 74, J. 118 in 1811, and premiered on December 25, 1813. It is composed of three movements: Allegro, Romanze Andante con moto, Alla Polacca. Like all of Weber’s clarinet works, except for the Grand Duo Concertant, it is dedicated to Heinrich Baermann, who was soloist at the premiere.
The 1st movement, in E-flat major, begins with an exposition of the main theme by the orchestra. The clarinet soloist enters with a high E flat (E-flat concert pitch) followed by a 3 octave jump before repeating the opening theme. This 3 octave jump, along with other large leaps, is stylistic of this movement. The majority of the first half of the movement sits very comfortably in E-flat major before modulating to D-flat major where much of the previous clarinet melodic material is repeated. The movement finishes with a rather virtuosic clarinet part extending to the near limits of clarinet range.