Richard Strauss' Duet Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon - Monday's Ensemble Monterey Free Download

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Dear Ensemble Monterey Friends - Richard Stauss, a distant relative of the waltz king of the same name, was the last of the great German romantic composers. His long and star-studded career spanned the years from the end of the 19th Century until his death in 1949. His very last instrumental composition is today's download, the Duet Concertino. It is a virtuoso piece for clarinet and bassoon accompanied by a string orchestra. It was a commission from friend and conductor, Otmar Nussio, for Nussio's orchestra. Strauss wrote it with a particular bassoonist in mind, Hugo Burghauser. At the time Hugo was Principal Bassoonist with the Vienna Philharmonic. Many of Strauss' works are based loosely on programs, or stories told in the music. No program was published with this piece, but this is what the composer wrote to Burghauser:

A dancing princess is alarmed by the grotesque cavorting of a bear in imitation of her. At last she is won over to the creature and dances with it, upon which it turns into a prince. So in the end, you too will turn into a prince and live happily ever after...[2]

I have reached back into the EM archives for this piece, which we performed in January, 2001. The Clarinetist is former EM Principal Clarinetist Bruce Foster. The Bassoonist is Ensemble Monterey founding member, Jane Orzel. Jane was a dear friend to us all and one of the finest musicians I have ever worked with. Jane has since passed away, but you can hear her incredible artistry here. Until Wednesday ..

Yours in Music - John Anderson