Concerto No. 1, Op. 73, 1st movement
In this lesson, professor and student work on breathing techniques as well as the importance of mastering all the notes in order to acheive an immaculate performance.
Sharon Kam advises her student to consider which edition of score to play, highly recommending the original edition by Weber firstly before tackling the Bäemann edition -- since the latter is a more challenging version. Additionally, the pair cover finger and tongue coordination when playing staccatos, developing contrasting colors, and building intensity via sound.
Creating colorful contrast.
Tongue and finger coordination.
Carl Maria von Weber composed his Concerto No. 1 in F minor for B-flat clarinet in 1811 for clarinetist Heinrich Bärmann. The composition process was a collaborative one; Bärmann added material and revised the clarinet part. The concerto has become an important part of the clarinet repertoire, and is noted for its expressive melodies and dramatic contrast.
The first movement, Allegro, opens with a brief string introduction, before the full orchestra boisterously enters. The powerful and passionate orchestral entrances are juxtaposed with the lyricism of the clarinet, which later in the movement showcases its technical virtuosity. The second movement, Adagio ma non troppo, evokes an aria. The clarinet presents a floating song over subdued orchestral accompaniment until a climactic middle section, eventually brought back to calm by an exquisite section for clarinet solo and horn trio. The concerto ends with Rondo: Allegretto, a light, playful movement that drives to a flashy conclusion featuring the technical prowess of the soloist.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this clarinet masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Sharon Kam’s feedback and comments.
Won the 1992 ARD Music Competition in Munich.
Sharon Kam is one of the world’s leading clarinet soloists, and has been working with renowned orchestras in the United States, Europe, and Japan for over 20 years. At the age of sixteen, she performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in her orchestral debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta. Shortly afterwards, she performed the Clarinet Quintet with the Guarneri String Quartet in Carnegie Hall, New York.
As a passionate chamber musician, Sharon Kam regularly works with artists such as Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Enrico Pace, Daniel Müller-Schott, Leif Ove Andsnes, Carolin Widmann, and the Jerusalem Quartet. She is a frequent guest at festivals in Schleswig-Holstein, Heimbach, Rheingau, Risør, Cork, Verbier, and Delft, as well as the Schubertiade festival. An active performer of contemporary music, she has premiered many works, including Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto and Quartet, and concertos by Herbert Willi (at the Salzburg Festival), Iván Erőd and Peter Ruzicka (at Donaueschingen).
Sharon Kam feels at home in a variety of musical genres – from classical to modern music and jazz. This is reflected in her diverse discography. She received the ECHO “Instrumentalist of the Year” award two times: in 1998, for her Weber recording with the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig and Kurt Masur, and in 2006, for her CD with the Leipzig Radio Orchestra featuring works by Spohr, Weber, Rossini, and Mendelssohn. Her American Classics CD with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by her husband Gregor Bühl, was awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Prize. In 2013, she released a recording entitled Opera! This collaboration with the Württembergisches Kammerorchester, conducted by Ruben Gazarian, includes transcriptions of operatic arias ranging from Rossini and Puccini to Wolf-Ferrari, arranged for clarinet and chamber orchestra. The release was accompanied by an inaugural tour.
During the season 2019-2020, Sharon Kam performed in concert halls including the Wiener Musikverein; a portrait concert at the Elbphiharmonie, the Vienna and Munich Chamber Orchestras, the Staatskapelle Halle, the Saarländischen Staatsorchester, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra. In September 2019, her Trio album recorded with her long-term partners Ori Kam and Matan Porat, was released.
Carl Maria von Weber was born in Eutin, Germany in 1786, and received a complete and thorough musical education after displaying virtuoso abilities at an incredibly early age. His father dreamt to transform his son into another Mozart and although the family’s frequent moving fragmented Weber’s education, he attained directorial positions before turning 20, and composed many pieces in his adolescence. His fame rose quickly after 1810 and again in 1821. He died at the early age of 39 from tuberculosis while staying in London, and his remains were eventually sent back to Germany 18 years after his death.
He is often considered to be one of the most influential composer and musician of all time, as his piano compositions influenced masters such as Chopin, Liszt, and Mendelssohn. His musical legacy is extensive as he left behind a huge musical repertoire consisting of more than 80 cataloged opuses (some operas are included in the list), as well as hundreds of songs, variations, ballads, cantatas, dances, and duets.