Thursday, February 02, 2012

Trio di Clarone

Wednesday night I heard Trio di Clarone, the clarinet trio consisting of Sabine Meyer, her husband Reiner Wehle & her brother Wolfgang Meyer. The program was all short pieces & featured Mozart's music on the basset horn, which is an elongated version of the clarinet, with a lower range and a darker, raspier timbre. Its player has to be seated, & the instrument is so long that the bell rests on the floor.

The program began and ended with basset horn arrangements of numbers from Mozart operas, which all had a light & graceful feel, even the military march in "Non più andrai." The Meyers sibling were frisky in duos by Poulenc & C.P.E. Bach on regular clarinets. They looked like they were dancing together during the jocular "Vif" movement of the Poulenc. Mr. Wehle has an open, mellow sound & played nicely soft & rounded phrases in the 2nd of 3 Stravinsky solo clarinet pieces, though a cell phone rang right at the end. Mr. Wehle acknowledged it with a nod. The trio established a strong, contrasting character for each movement of Bach's French Suite in G Major. I liked the lively, flexible tempos & tossed-off ornaments. The Courante depicted sprinting & made the audience laugh. The 2 clarinets bantered rapidly in the Bourrée.

Each half of the program was about 40 minutes. The trio played cleanly, with very close ensemble, & the musicians even sounded similar. They looked like they were having fun playing for each other as well as for the audience. Everything seemed comfortably easy. A smattering of people gave them a standing ovation, & the encore was a bubbly excerpt from Don Giovanni, thus completing the Mozart/Da Ponte cycle.

§ San Francisco Performances
Trio di Clarone

MOZART: Three Arias from The Marriage of Figaro, K.492
(arranged anonymously for three basset horns during Mozart's time)
Rondo: Al desio di chi t'adora
Arietta: Voi, che sapete
Aria: Non più andrai

POULENC: Sonata for 2 Clarinets

STRAVINSKY: Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo

J.S. BACH: French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816
(arranged for two clarinets and basset horn by Rainer Schottstädt)

MOZART: Divertimento No. 1 for Three Basset Horns, K.439b

C.P.E. BACH: Duo in C Major for Two Clarinets, Wq. 142

MOZART: Four Arias from Così fan Tutte, K.588
(arranged for three basset horns by Rainer Schottstädt)
Aria: Come scoglio immota resta
Aria: In Nomini, in soldati
Aria: Un aura amorosa
Terzetto: Una bella serenata

MOZART: "Riposato, vezzose ragazze" from Act I of Don Giovanni

Wednesday, February 1, 8pm
Herbst Theatre

§ Photo credit: © 2009 Marion Koell/Avi-music. 

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