Concerto No. 3 in Bb
SMC ST726/ HL 3775520
Largely self-educated, Finnish composer Bernhard Henrik Crusell (1775-1838) aggresively pursued a career as a professional clarinetist, both in Finland's military bands and also as principal clarinetist of the orchestra of the King of Sweden. He was also in great demand as a soloist during his time as a performer. He became interested in composing in 1798 during trips to Berlin (to see Franz Tausch) and Paris (Lefevre) to study more clarinet techniques, and pursued compositional training with Berton and Gossec. Among Crusell's many clarinet compositions are three clarinet concerti, of which this Opus 11 is the last. Unlike the music of most clarinet virtuosos who have written for their own soloistic interests, the quality of Crusell's music ranks with that of the best composers.