5th Chamber Concert 2022/23 (The Munich Clarinet Olympus)

The 5th Chamber Concert focuses on Heinrich Joseph Baermann, extraordinary clarinet virtuoso of his time, who inspired composers such as Giacomo Meyerbeer, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Carl Maria von Weber to write compositions for the clarinet. Baermann was born in Potsdam in 1784 and was educated there and in Berlin before serving as a military musician during the fighting between Napoleon and Prussia. In 1807, Baermann was accepted as first clarinetist in the Munich court orchestra, where he served until 1834. Baermann was in demand internationally and gave concerts in many European cities before his death in Munich in 1847.

All of the works on the program are related to Baermann: Meyerbeer’s 2nd Clarinet Quintet, for example, was considered lost since World War II until a score copy of it was discovered in Baermann’s estate. During a visit of Heinrich Baermann together with his son Carl to Mendelssohn during a concert tour in Berlin, Mendelssohn composed the Concert Piece No. 1 while Baermann was cooking. And Baermann was also friends with Carl Maria von Weber – the two performed concerts together, and Weber dedicated his clarinet compositions to Baermann.

Photo credit: Print, author unknown, 1829, Munich City Museum, Portrait Collection; Inv: G M IV/873, Public Domain Mark.01