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Sharon Kam, von Weber, Concerto nr. 1

Sequence published on 4/14/21
Composer : Carl Maria von Weber
Year of composition : 1811
Artistic period : 19th century
Musical category : Concerto
Academy : Academy Apr. 11 - Apr. 18, 2021
Master(s) : Sharon Kam
Student : Elias Rodriquez
Date of recording : 10/22/21
Instrument(s) played :

"Perfection is a must. It's what you do. First, it has to be perfect, you can't be making mistakes all over the place." Sharon Kam

About the Clarinette class of Sharon Kam on the Concerto n°1

Clarinette Master class, Sharon Kam | Weber, Concerto n°1

From the beginning of this class, the master emphasizes the importance of knowing the editions
of this concert (“There's a lot of difference between this edition dynamically, accents, notes,
everything. It's very, very, very different than the original Weber manuscript, which we can follow
and see”). 

During much of the class, the master will give the student directions to help him perform an
interpretation that must be perfect (“the only reason to play it is if you can really master it. And
part of really mastering it is never breathing. So if you can't do the fingers and you can't do
without the breath, don't do it”). For this, first, he has to make it work, starting from the simplest
and then reaching the most complex: “Don't do the extra-curriculum if you can't get a good note
on the non-extra-curriculum. I really recommend you not to play it before you really master the
piece."
They work together on intonation, breathing being the central issue, on the character, dynamics,
tempo changes, etc. To perform a perfect performance, one has to master all: “the first thing
that you do by playing a concerto is really owning every note, every breath, every ornament of
every ... The intonation… Everything”, “The whole idea of playing a concerto is being beyond
human, being a superman. The superbness doesn't happen if about your breathing”. 

What we learn in this Clarinette Master class

- [about the cadenza] One can't do it halfway.
- The importance of intonation
- The importance of connecting the notes; sometimes, even without breathing
- How to make the notes of the high register sound more round.
- Sometimes it just changes the color, not the intonation
- When deciding where to breathe, one should listen to his body 
- Playing a concerto is about being taken by the abilities of the person standing there.
- One should never leave a note alone
- The fingers and the tongue need to be synced.

About Carl Maria von Weber's work

Carl Maria von Weber¸ Concerto no. 1, First movement Carl Maria von Weber wrote some of the most significant solo works in the clarinet repertoire. His friendship with the virtuoso clarinetist Heinrich Baermann resulted in the creation of a series of magnificent pieces for clarinet. Weber’s magical gift for vocal melody, combined with his complete understanding of the capabilities of the clarinet, has kept clarinetists and audiences musically mesmerized for over two centuries.
The Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73 was composed in 1811 when Weber was 24 years old. The work was commissioned by King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, following the rousing success of the premiere of Weber’s Concertino, Op. 26. Weber composed the concerto for his friend Heinrich Baermann and left the manuscript of the solo line somewhat sparse, allowing Baermann poetic license to phrase and embellish as he pleased, as was often the practice in concertos for solo instruments during this period in music history. Baermann freely added phrase markings, dynamics, grace notes, slight rhythmic variations, and even an extended cadenza in the first movement. His interpretation was reportedly very different from the more docile and simple solo line that appeared in the early published editions. In 1868-69, Heinrich’s son Carl (1810-1885), himself a clarinetist and pedagogue of great renown, published an edition of the concerto based on his father’s copy of the solo part. The master talks a lot about the importance of knowing both editions and choosing one of them.
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