Clarinet Concerto in A major K622 (used in Out of Africa)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart is the most popular composer in the Ultimate Hall of Fame and this is the highest of his 20 entries. This was number 1 in 2006, the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. It slid to its lowest position of number 8 in 2013 and also in the most recent countdown.
The autumnal Clarinet Concerto was born out of respect and friendship. The man for whom Mozart wrote the music, Anton Stadler, was one of two clarinet players in his family.
Mozart gave him one of his most enduring works, albeit creating some confusion in the process. Stadler was a big champion of the basset clarinet, an instrument possessing a few extra low notes than your average clarinet. Because of the publishers' general desire to print only a standard clarinet version and the fact that Stadler allegedly pawned the basset version, confusion over how Mozart originally intended it to be played was rife until recent times. The original version featuring the lower notes is now making something of a comeback.
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