Clari d’Amore

Mozart in Flanders
the revival of the clarinetto d’amore

Terra Nova Collective – Vlad Weverbergh

During these concerts, a clarinetto d’amore will be introduced to the public for the first time. Following the Terra Nova principle, the presenting of new music and musical discoveries will be accompanied by known masterworks, in this case those of Joseph Haydn and Carl Maria von Weber. Because of the combination with the classicist work of Haydn, which, take or give a few years, is from the same period as that of De Croes and Vanderhagen, the public will get a better image of the musical context from that time period.

After the pause, Weber’s music will show the sharp contrast between the clear, romantic solo clarinet and the dark, special sound of the clarinetto d’amore. This way, the unique character and timbre of the clarinetto d’amore will be highlighted. As the repertoire of Weber and Haydn is well-known, this appendix will focus only on the repertoire for the clarinetto d’amore.

Program

Joseph Haydn: Stringquartet Opus 76 n2 – 9’
– Allegro
– Andante o più tosto allegretto
– Menuetto
– Finale: Vivace assai
Henri Joseph de Croes: Partias for clarinetto d’Amore  – 10’
Carl Maria von Weber: Quintet for clarinet and strings  Opus 34 – 23’
– Allegro
– Fantasia: adagio
– Presto : menuetto
– Rondo

Clari d’amore: The project 

A world première 

The revival of the clarinetto d’amore 

The clarinetto d’amore is a special clarinet that existed during the Mozart era. Currently there are no copies of the clarinetto d’amore that are being played in concerts. 

The instrument was extensively described by the American musicologist Dr. Albert Rice, who became a world expert with his publication on historical clarinets. 

With this project, Vlad Weverbergh and his Terra Nova Collective bring the clarinetto d’amore back to life on stage. 

Flanders

Clarinetto d’amores were also made in Flanders, among others by Franciscus Rottenburgh in Brussels and the Tuerlinckx workshop in Mechelen. The Tuerlinckx workshop at that time comprised Europe’s most accomplished makers and were important in developing new models of woodwind instruments.

Currently we know more than 70 documented historical instruments in museums and private collections worldwide. 

The bulbous bell of the clarinetto d’amore was seen as very fashionable during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. However, the unique timbre and soft, almost sweet tone of the clarinetto d’amore were important for composers and performers who worked with the instrument. And yet the instrument was not successful in creating an important role in European music literature. 

Music for the clarinetto d’amore from the 18th and 19th century played on copies of historic instruments has never been recorded on CD. 
Moreover, up to this time no one has attempted to bring the instrument back to the concert stage performing 18th and 19th century music. 

The music is located in the library of the Court of Thurn und Taxis in Regensburg (Germany). The currently known repertoire can be divided into two categories, concerti and chamber music. 

The concerti are composed by Knéžek . The virtuoso Knéžek was connected to the Court of Thurn and Taxis as a musician. One can compare his very accessible virtuoso classical music with that of Hofmeister, Von Winter, Von Schacht, Eybler, Süssmayer and Krommer. 

The most beautiful of musical gems are found in the chamber music mainly from the hand of Kapellmeister H.J. de Croes. He was the son of Antwerp-based Henri Jacques de Croes. 

The remaining music for the clarinetto d’amore is, like the remaining instruments, very scarce, but it is nevertheless of a very great refinement. Currently, we have unique pearls that have been able to evade the detection of researchers for two centuries. 

Many of the 18th and 19th century music for this instrument is still hidden, waiting to be discovered.