Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Dame Thea King (clarinet), Georgina Dobrée (clarinet), English Chamber Orchestra, Andrew Litton (conductor)
Movement 2: Rondeau: Allegro moderato
His Sinfonie Concertante in F for two clarinets is the first of two published by Imbault, Paris, in 1790 (just one year before the Mozart Clarinet Concerto was written). The title page announces that it was performed at a Concert Spirituel with Solère and Wachter as soloists. It is classically scored with strings, two oboes and two horns. The solo parts are written for the light-toned C clarinet. As in most double concertos there is repetition of material to encourage a competitive spirit between the soloists. The first clarinet is early off the starting block, making a brief surprise entry during the opening tutti, but is brought to book by an interrupted cadence. Subsequently all is fairness and good sport, with contrapuntal volleying between the soloists leading to more co-operative passages in thirds. The second movement is a graceful Rondeau whose main theme is introduced jointly by the soloists. It is just rescued from predictability by unexpected phrase extensions and timely modulations. One has to admire the musicians of the eighteenth century who mastered, in a less specialist age, both performance and compositional skills.
from notes by Hyperion Records Ltd © 1989