As far as we know, J C Bach did not write any solo clarinet concertos, but he did give the instrument a prominent role in his ‘concerted symphony’ in E flat. The work is fascinatingly inconsistent in its scoring. The first movement starts in symphonic style, full of bustling textures and orchestral drama, but it suddenly changes direction when the clarinets, horns and bassoon are given a series of genial concerto-like passages. The movement continues to veer between symphony and concerto idioms and there are some delightful passages where the winds and the strings bandy phrases, as in seventeenth-century polychoral music. Similarly, the beautiful slow movement starts like a bassoon concerto, soon turns into a flute concerto, but also has some mellifluous trio passages for two clarinets and bassoon. The trio of the concluding minuet is scored just for wind band.
from notes by Peter Holman © 1997