Sibelius: Violin Concerto

The Finnish Violinist Sibelius was 38 years old when he completed this, his only example of the Concerto form, in the Summer of 1903. It was written for and dedicated to Willy Burmester, leader of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the most highly regarded soloists of his day. At the time Sibelius’ finances … Read more

Weber: Clarinet Concerto no 1

Carl Maria von Weber was a central figure in the growth of the Romantic movement in Germany. Born in 1786, he suffered a lifetime of ill health and died at the age of 40, in 1826. The multi-talented Weber was a gifted composer, consummate pianist and conductor. It is said that he was an astute … Read more

Mozart: Concerto for Clarinet in A K622

An instrument maker of Nuremberg is credited with producing, in the early 18th century, the first viable clarinet. Handel, Vivaldi and others wrote for this fledgling instrument. Mozart showed an affinity for the clarinet, which had by his time been much improved. He made use of it in his operatic music, Serenades, and German Dances, … Read more

Mozart: Piano Concerto no 20 in D minor

After being physically kicked out of the service of the Archbishop of Salzburg, Mozart settled in Vienna in 1781. At first he prospered. With the ongoing success of his opera “Il Seraglio” he was in demand, not only as a composer but as a pianist and teacher. However, as an independent musician without any guaranteed … Read more

Rimsky-Korsakov: Concerto for Trombone

Rimsky-Korsakov was born into a Russian aristocratic family, and in his early years had little musical education or training – he was destined for a commission in the Imperial Navy. A meeting with Balakirev in 1861 re-awoke Rimsky-Korsakov’s latent musical talents, and by 1871 he was appointed Professor of Composition at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire, … Read more

Mozart: Concerto for Bassoon K191

The bassoon had already enjoyed a longevity and on-going development when at the age of 18 Mozart composed his concerto, possibly at the behest of one of his rich Salzburg patrons. The autograph copy is dated Salzburg 4.6.74. In the last year of his life, 1791, he was to compose his celebrated concerto for the … Read more