Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Menuetto: Allegretto
Movement 3: Larghetto
Movement 4: Finale: Allegro vivace
In the early 1800s Andreas settled in Hamburg and cut his performing down increasingly in favour of composing. He won international recognition for his Schiller setting Das Lied von der Glocke. Other works include The Messiah (after Klopstock), numerous symphonies, concertos, string quartets and songs (many popular among amateurs). Haydn and Mozart were his models, as we can hear in the Clarinet Quintet. He died too young to be influenced by Beethoven. Contemporary accounts of his violin playing might just as well be describing his compositions: ‘robust rather than fiery, vigorous and grainy rather than emotional’ (Rochlitz) and ‘cultured and thoughtful’ (Spohr). Note the odd combination here—one violin, two violas (as opposed to two violins and one viola). Almost certainly this was designed to emphasize the importance allotted throughout the work to Romberg’s own instrument, the violin; which is not to say that his treatment of the ‘official’ soloist, the clarinet, is anything less than sympathetic and inventive.
from notes by Christopher Palmer © 1992