Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26 Clarinet Duos

Beethoven only wrote 3 sets of duos involving the clarinet.  Actually he might have written none, since the 3 Duos for Clarinet and Bassoon WoO 27 are considered "spurious" by some Beethoven experts.  They were published in Paris during B.'s lifetime so it's possible that if he might've even seen these "forgeries".  However there exists no record or letter from him confirming/denying these duos.  Maybe he wrote them in his sleep, who knows?  In any case they are pretty fun and most woodwind players know them today as Beethoven pieces.

John Palmer writes about the 3rd duo:
Opening with a sonata-form movement set in B flat major and marked Allegro sostenuto, the third of the three Duos, WoO 27, is the most unusual. The secondary key area of the first movement is more a wash of figures and scales than a real thematic passage. The "reprise" of this material in the recapitulation is practically new music; the recapitulation is like the exposition only at its very beginning and end. A direction to repeat the development/recapitulation complex is an early Classical-era trait. 
WoO 27, No.3, 1st M (Bassoon/Clarinet):

WoO 27/3 : Bassoon and Clarinet 

WoO 27, No.1, 1st M is here arranged for 2 Clarinets, and sounding quite nice, I think:

Л.В.Бетховен \ Ludwig van Beethoven - Дуэт для двух кларнетов

Recently posted as a Clarinet/Cello duo, this time WoO 27, No. 2, is a Flute/Oboe duo:

WoO 27.2 Barbara Rosnitschek Flöte und Fagott Brenneke

For one more interesting duo arrangement of these "spurious-yet-ubiquitous" duos, click HERE to see a version of WoO 27, No.1 for Euphonium and Flute.


  1. In WoO 27 No. 2... That's not an oboe!! That's a BASSOON!!!

  2. oops - thx for the correction