WindOctet in F Major, D. 72
CarlMaria von Weber (1786-1826)
Adagio& Rondo for two clarinets, two French horns & two bassoons
Octetin B Flat Major, Op. 156
Schubert'sF major Octet survives only in fragmentary form, augmented for practical use bythe Franciscan musicologist Father Reinhard van Hoorickx with the addition of afirst and second movement, later revised by Christopher Weait for his 1982edition. 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 wereadded, 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 theautograph of Der Graf von Habsburg, D. 990, which bears the title KaiserMaximilian auf der Martinswand in Tirol, 1490. This sketch is scored for piano,but was thought by Father van Hoorickx to be characteristeic of a compositionfor wind instruments. This was later found to be a sketch for a song, publishedin 1853 by Ferdinand Schubert as his own work. Christopher Weait adds thatfragments of a second minuet survive, presumably, because of the key andscoring, intended as part of the F major Octet. He found few changes necessaryin the first movement devised by Father van Hoorickx, but made more substantialchanges in the second movement. The third and fourth movements remain in theiroriginal form.
TheOctet was started by Schubert some time in or before 1813, the year in which heleft the Kaiserlich-Königliches Stadtkonvikt, where he had been a pupil, and ata time when he was still taking lessons from the Court Composer Salieri. Thesame year brought his father's remarriage, after the death of the composer'smother in 1812, and the composition of music for the family string quartet.
Theautograph of the Wind Sextet, bearing the stamp of the manuscript collectorCharles Malherbe, survives in the Paris Bibliothèque Nationale. It carries thesignature of Weber and the date for the Rondo of 24th June 1808, inLudwigsburg. The Adagio is dated 6th July of the same year. The Rondoreappeared later in an abridged form as part of the incidental music for thetragedy Henry IV in 1818 and again in 1825 as a pas de cinq for the Berlinperformance of the opera Euryanthe.
In1808 Weber found himself in the employrnent of Duke Ludwig of Württemberg,entrusted with the control of the impecunious Duke's finances and an unpopularemissary to the King, the Duke's brother and son-in-law of George III ofEngland, when money was needed. Weber was joined by his father in 1809 and wasdismissed into ignominious and perpetual exile from the kingdom after thelatter had misappropriated money entrusted to Weber in the pursuance of hisduties. Departure from Ludwigsburg allowed him to enjoy a much more successfulmusical career than might otherwise have been the case had he remained acourtier. The Adagio and Rondo show all Weber's assured ability in handlingwind instruments in an idiom that was fully his own, to be exemplified twoyears later in his work for the clarinettist Baermann.
FranzLachner was born in 1803 at Rain-am-Lech, one of a family of musicians. In 1823he was appointed organist at the Lutheran church in Vienna, where he became amember of Schubert's circle of friends, his presence recorded by the artistMoritz von Schwind in various sketches. In 1827 Lachner became assistantconductor at the Kärntnertor Theater and two years later was appointed chiefconductor. In 1836, after a brief period of two years at Mannheim, he moved toMunich where he was ernployed for the next thirty years, from 1852 asGeneralmusikdirektor, his reign only coming to an end with the advent ofWagner, to whom Lachner lent generous early assistance. He was a prolificcomposer and enjoyed considerable respect in his life-time, while his earlierwork is thoroughly characteristic of Schubert's Vienna.
Lachner'sB flat Wind Octet, Op. 156, was issued in Leipzig in 1850 in its present formand as a piano duet. Its sonata-form first movement leads to te tranquil Frenchhorn opening of the Adagio. The Scherzo allows the flute an element ofvirtuosity, abetted by the bassoon, and the Octet ends with a Finale that hasits own more pensive moments.
TheGerman Wind Soloists have been playing together since 1980. Formed by principalplayers from the Berlin and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras and the RadioOrchestras of these cities, among others, they have won themselves a veryconsiderable reputation with a repertoire that includes the Harmoniemusik forwind octet of the classical period, extending through romantic repertoire tothe contemporary. The ensemble appears frequently on the concert platformthroughout Europe and has undertaken tours to both China and Japan.
Theflautist Jean-Claude Gérard studied in Paris and was principal flute in theParis Opéra Orchestra and the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1987 he wasappointed professor of the flute in Hanover and since 1989 has occupied asimilar position at the Stuttgart Musikhochschule.
ManfredClement, principal oboist in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, studied inDresden and was formerly a principal in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra andthe Bavarian State Orchestra.
GüntherPassin had his musical training in Leipzig and in Detmold and is principaloboist in the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and professor at the MunichMusikhochschule.
In1973 Ulf Rodenhäuser was appointed a principal clarinettist in the BerlinPhilharmonic Orchestra and from 1983 until 1987 served as principal clarinettistin the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He studied in Nuremberg and in Munichand since 1980 has been on the teaching staff of the Stuttgart Musikhochschule.
WolfgangTeschner studied in Stuttgart and in Detmold and is a principal clarinettist inthe Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.
WolfgangGaag, French horn
Aprincipal of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and since 1983 a professor atthe Stuttgart Musikhochschule, the horn-player Wolfgang Gaag studied in Berlinand served subsequently in the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the StuttgartRadio Symphony Orchestra.