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Archduke Rudolph (1788-1831): Music for Clarinet and Piano / Luigi Magistrelli, clarinet; Claudia Bracco, piano

Album Summary

>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Allegro, for clarinet & piano (from an unfinished Sonata in B flat major)
>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Variations on a Theme by J. Weigl [1], for clarinet & piano (sketches)
>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Theme and Variations for clarinet & orchestra (incomplete)
>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Introduction and Variations on a Theme by J. Weigl [2], for clarinet & piano (sketches)
>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Variations on a Theme by J. Weigl [3], for clarinet & 2 pianos (sketches)
>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Sonata for clarinet & piano in B flat major (incomplete)
>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Dances (6) for clarinet
>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Adagio and Polacca, for clarinet & piano (incomplete)
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This fascinating disc brings together some real musical rarities: the unpublished clarinet works of Archduke Rudolph of Austria, a pianist and amateur composer who is best known for being a pupil and patron of Beethoven. In the early 19th century, Rudolph began taking piano and composition lessons with Beethoven; they became close friends and the Archduke went on to become the composer's patron. Beethoven dedicated no fewer than 14 works to Rudolph - including some of his greatest masterpieces such as the 'Emperor' Concerto, the 'Hammerklavier' Sonata and the Missa solemnis - and the two men regularly exchanged letters. The influence of the great composer on his friend and protégé is palpable in the charming works collected here, many of which have been reconstructed from surviving fragments following meticulous research by the artists. There are several works comprising variations on themes and operatic arias by Joseph Weigl, who was an eminent composer at the Viennese court at the time - Beethoven also used a theme from one of Weigl's operas in his Op.11 Clarinet Trio. Also featured are some delightfully elegant waltzes, a lyrical Andante and brilliant (albeit incomplete) Polacca, and a set of variations - also on a theme by Weigl - for the unique combination of clarinet and two pianos. Archduke Rudolph's clarinet works are performed here by award-winning clarinettist Luigi Magistrelli, who has won golden opinions for his "warm and fluid tone" and "excellent sense of phrasing" (American Record Guide). Other information: Rarely recorded repertoire. Booklet includes liner notes and biographies of the artists.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
Magistrelli is a very fine clarinetist with a lovely tone that is never forced or wheezy. Bracco is an able accompanist.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: "G. Verdi" Conservatory, Milan (07/2013/08/2013); Santo Stefano Ticino (province of Milan) (07/2013/08/2013).



Reviews

Beethoven's student entertains
If you want to get deep into the minutia of the classical repertoire, this is the disc for you. It's a collection of mostly unfinished music by a student of Beethoven. But neither the music nor the composer is commonplace.

Archduke Rudolph is best remembered as one of Beethoven's patrons and students. He was quite an accomplished pianist -- Beethoven dedicated his knuckle-busting Hammerklavier Sonata to Rudolph (in fact, Beethoven dedicated a total of fourteen works to him, including the "Archduke" Trio). And as this release shows, not a bad composer either -- although not one with a lot of free time, as most of the works are incomplete.

Luigi Maistrelli (clarinet) and Claudia Bracco (piano) deliver sympathetic performances that really show Rudolph's music in the best possible light. Rudolph wrote with a lighter touch than his teacher, and Maistrelli and Bracco breeze through the material deftly.

Rudolph may not possess Beethoven's stormy nature, but his sets of variations (there are four on this album) show plenty of creativity and imagination. Most interesting to me was the Variations on a Theme by J. Weigl for clarinet and two pianos. Rather than overpowering the solo instrument, the two pianos provide a richer, fuller accompaniment. Skillfully written! The Six Dances for Solo Clarinet (all around 45 seconds) are quite charming and lay well on the instrument.

Rudolph is no Beethoven, but his music is well-constructed and quite appealing in its own right. I enjoyed what I heard. I just wish he'd gotten around to finishing those two clarinet sonatas.
Submitted on 09/16/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Allegro, for clarinet & piano (from an unfinished Sonata in B flat major)
  • Performers: Claudia Bracco (Piano); Luigi Magistrelli (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Santo Stefano Ticino (province of Milan) (07/2013/08/2013); "G. Verdi" Conservatory, Milan (07/2013/08/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Variations on a Theme by J. Weigl [1], for clarinet & piano (sketches)
  • Performers: Claudia Bracco (Piano); Luigi Magistrelli (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Santo Stefano Ticino (province of Milan) (07/2013/08/2013); "G. Verdi" Conservatory, Milan (07/2013/08/2013)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Theme and Variations for clarinet & orchestra (incomplete)
  • Performers: Claudia Bracco (Piano); Luigi Magistrelli (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Santo Stefano Ticino (province of Milan) (07/2013/08/2013); "G. Verdi" Conservatory, Milan (07/2013/08/2013)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Introduction and Variations on a Theme by J. Weigl [2], for clarinet & piano (sketches)
  • Performers: Claudia Bracco (Piano); Luigi Magistrelli (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Santo Stefano Ticino (province of Milan) (07/2013/08/2013); "G. Verdi" Conservatory, Milan (07/2013/08/2013)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Variations on a Theme by J. Weigl [3], for clarinet & 2 pianos (sketches)
  • Performers: Carlo Bernava (Piano); Claudia Bracco (Piano); Luigi Magistrelli (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Santo Stefano Ticino (province of Milan) (07/2013/08/2013); "G. Verdi" Conservatory, Milan (07/2013/08/2013)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Sonata for clarinet & piano in B flat major (incomplete)
  • Performers: Claudia Bracco (Piano); Luigi Magistrelli (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Santo Stefano Ticino (province of Milan) (07/2013/08/2013); "G. Verdi" Conservatory, Milan (07/2013/08/2013)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Dances (6) for clarinet
  • Performer: Luigi Magistrelli (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Santo Stefano Ticino (province of Milan) (07/2013/08/2013); "G. Verdi" Conservatory, Milan (07/2013/08/2013)
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Rudolph, Archduke of Austria : Adagio and Polacca, for clarinet & piano (incomplete)
  • Performers: Claudia Bracco (Piano); Luigi Magistrelli (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Santo Stefano Ticino (province of Milan) (07/2013/08/2013); "G. Verdi" Conservatory, Milan (07/2013/08/2013)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic