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Octet in F Major, D. 72
Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
& Rondo for two clarinets, two French horns & two bassoons
in B Flat Major, Op. 156
F major Octet survives only in fragmentary form, augmented for practical use by
the Franciscan musicologist Father Reinhard van Hoorickx with the addition of a
first and second movement, later revised by Christopher Weait for his 1982
edition. Bars 90 to 189, from the development section of the first movement,
survive, and from this bars 10 to 89 were restored. The first nine bars were
added, drawing on other passages in the movement and the section marked
"Trompeten" in the Collected Edition version of the Piano Duet Fantasia,
D. 1. The second movement is an arrangement of a sketch on the obverse of the
autograph of Der Graf von Habsburg, D. 990, which bears the title Kaiser
Maximilian auf der Martinswand in Tirol, 1490. This sketch is scored for piano,
but was thought by Father van Hoorickx to be characteristeic of a composition
for wind instruments. This was later found to be a sketch for a song, published
in 1853 by Ferdinand Schubert as his own work. Christopher Weait adds that
fragments of a second minuet survive, presumably, because of the key and
scoring, intended as part of the F major Octet. He found few changes necessary
in the first movement devised by Father van Hoorickx, but made more substantial
changes in the second movement. The third and fourth movements remain in their
Octet was started by Schubert some time in or before 1813, the year in which he
left the Kaiserlich-Königliches Stadtkonvikt, where he had been a pupil, and at
a time when he was still taking lessons from the Court Composer Salieri. The
same year brought his father's remarriage, after the death of the composer's
mother in 1812, and the composition of music for the family string quartet.
autograph of the Wind Sextet, bearing the stamp of the manuscript collector
Charles Malherbe, survives in the Paris Bibliothèque Nationale. It carries the
signature of Weber and the date for the Rondo of 24th June 1808, in
Ludwigsburg. The Adagio is dated 6th July of the same year. The Rondo
reappeared later in an abridged form as part of the incidental music for the
tragedy Henry IV in 1818 and again in 1825 as a pas de cinq for the Berlin
performance of the opera Euryanthe.
1808 Weber found himself in the employrnent of Duke Ludwig of Württemberg,
entrusted with the control of the impecunious Duke's finances and an unpopular
emissary to the King, the Duke's brother and son-in-law of George III of
England, when money was needed. Weber was joined by his father in 1809 and was
dismissed into ignominious and perpetual exile from the kingdom after the
latter had misappropriated money entrusted to Weber in the pursuance of his
duties. Departure from Ludwigsburg allowed him to enjoy a much more successful
musical career than might otherwise have been the case had he remained a
courtier. The Adagio and Rondo show all Weber's assured ability in handling
wind instruments in an idiom that was fully his own, to be exemplified two
years later in his work for the clarinettist Baermann.
Lachner was born in 1803 at Rain-am-Lech, one of a family of musicians. In 1823
he was appointed organist at the Lutheran church in Vienna, where he became a
member of Schubert's circle of friends, his presence recorded by the artist
Moritz von Schwind in various sketches. In 1827 Lachner became assistant
conductor at the Kärntnertor Theater and two years later was appointed chief
conductor. In 1836, after a brief period of two years at Mannheim, he moved to
Munich where he was ernployed for the next thirty years, from 1852 as
Generalmusikdirektor, his reign only coming to an end with the advent of
Wagner, to whom Lachner lent generous early assistance. He was a prolific
composer and enjoyed considerable respect in his life-time, while his earlier
work is thoroughly characteristic of Schubert's Vienna.
B flat Wind Octet, Op. 156, was issued in Leipzig in 1850 in its present form
and as a piano duet. Its sonata-form first movement leads to te tranquil French
horn opening of the Adagio. The Scherzo allows the flute an element of
virtuosity, abetted by the bassoon, and the Octet ends with a Finale that has
its own more pensive moments.
German Wind Soloists have been playing together since 1980. Formed by principal
players from the Berlin and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras and the Radio
Orchestras of these cities, among others, they have won themselves a very
considerable reputation with a repertoire that includes the Harmoniemusik for
wind octet of the classical period, extending through romantic repertoire to
the contemporary. The ensemble appears frequently on the concert platform
throughout Europe and has undertaken tours to both China and Japan.
flautist Jean-Claude Gérard studied in Paris and was principal flute in the
Paris Opéra Orchestra and the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1987 he was
appointed professor of the flute in Hanover and since 1989 has occupied a
similar position at the Stuttgart Musikhochschule.
Clement, principal oboist in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, studied in
Dresden and was formerly a principal in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and
the Bavarian State Orchestra.
Passin had his musical training in Leipzig and in Detmold and is principal
oboist in the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and professor at the Munich
1973 Ulf Rodenhäuser was appointed a principal clarinettist in the Berlin
Philharmonic Orchestra and from 1983 until 1987 served as principal clarinettist
in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He studied in Nuremberg and in Munich
and since 1980 has been on the teaching staff of the Stuttgart Musikhochschule.
Teschner studied in Stuttgart and in Detmold and is a principal clarinettist in
the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.
Gaag, French horn
principal of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and since 1983 a professor at
the Stuttgart Musikhochschule, the horn-player Wolfgang Gaag studied in Berlin
and served subsequently in the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the Stuttgart
Radio Symphony Orchestra.
horn-player Alois Schlemer studied in Munich and has since 1986 been a member
of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
Marschall has served as principal bassoonist in the Bavarian Radio Orchestra
since 1984. After study in Hanover he was appointed principal bassoonist in the
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.
1978 Klaus Thunemann was principal bassoonist in the North West German Radio
Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg. Since then he has been professor of the bassoon
at the Hanover Musikhochschule.
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