20221029 Romantic clarinet and soprano

Are we in a Stockholm drawing-room in 1830? The solo clarinetist in the Royal Swedish Orchestra, Staffan Mårtensson, and the soprano Jessica Elevant are guests of pianist Bengt Forsberg, and there is even a string quartet here! Bernhard Crusell’s aria with obligate clarinet from his opera “Den lilla slavinnan”, Carl Maria von Weber’s clarinet quintet, a clarinet sonata by Ferdinand Ries and a bunch of pre-romantic songs make up this evening’s program.

Carl Maria von Weber’s clarinet quintet (1815) is the longest piece. Weber’s contemporary Bernhard Crusell was born in what was still Swedish Finland in 1775 but moved to Sweden in 1791. Just two years later he became principal clarinetist in the Royal Swedish Orchestra, the chair now held by Staffan Mårtensson. Another parallel: in the summer, Staffan has a music festival in Östergötland, where Crusell 200 years earlier also provided music. Crusell was also a diligent translator of opera texts, and well known words such as Figaro’s “Say goodbye little butterfly to pleasure” are his from the start. We read about Ries as a pupil of Beethoven, but have you heard his music? Both he and Crusell died in 1838, but the songs on our program show that similar stylistic features lingered for several decades afterwards.


Ferdinand Ries Clarinet sonata no. 1 G minor op. 29


Bernhard Henrik Crusell
Frithiof och Ingeborg

Franz Berwald
Vaggvisa (Ute blåser sommarvind)

Adolf Fredrik Lindblad
En sommardag


Bernhard Crusell Aria for voice, clarinet and piano from “The little slavegirl”

Carl Maria von Weber Clarinet quintet B major op. 34


Jessica Elevant, soprano, Staffan Mårtensson, clarinet, Bengt Forsberg, piano,

Lina Samuelsson and Knapp Brita Pettersson, violin, Johanne Skansaar, viola, Johannes Rydén, cello