Hot News January 2005

Karl Leister and Ricardo Morales

Morales in Nielsen Concerto rehearsal

Nielsen rehearsal




Late Great Works Festival:   Week 4


Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622
Rondo: Allegro


         This Mozart Clarinet Concerto K622 performance, performed on a Bassett A Clarinet marks a new  trend in the performance of this work.  Normally this work is performed on a normal A Clarinet; for some years the Bassett A was used in rare occasions but Morales performs this work with a world-class orchestra.

          Ricardo Morales joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as principal clarinet in 2003. Prior to this position, he was principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a position he assumed at the age of 21. He can be heard on numerous The Metropolitan Opera Presents televised broadcasts from his tenure there.

         A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mr. Morales began his studies at the Escuela Libre de Musica, along with his five siblings, who are all themselves distinguished musicians. He continued his studies at Indiana University, where he received his artist diploma, and at the Cincinnati College Conservatory. He began his professional career as principal clarinet of the Florida Symphony.

         Mr. Morales has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Flemish Radio Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Puerto Rico Symphony, the Florida Symphony, and the Columbus Symphony. He made his Philadelphia Orchestra solo debut at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in 2004 with Charles Dutoit. Mr. Morales has soloed with the MET Orchestra under the baton of James Levine in Carnegie Hall and on two European tours and has also performed in the MET Chamber Ensemble series at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, performing with Mr. Levine at the piano as well as participating in numerous chamber concerts. Mr. Morales has performed at the Kennedy Center, on the Metropolitan Museum of Art Concert Series, with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and on NBC's The Today Show.

        Mr. Morales has been an active recitalist and has given master classes at many universities, summer music festivals, and woodwind conferences. He currently serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Verbier Academy in Switzerland during the summer.

From the Philadelphia Orchestra Program Notes:



Mozart, age 35, was basking in the enormous popular success of his most recent opera, The Magic Flute, when at 10:30 on the night of Friday, October 7, 1791, he wrote to his wife, who was taking a cure at a nearby spa:

Dearest, Most Beloved Little Wife!
I have this moment returned from the opera, which was full as ever. As usual the duet 'Mann und Weib' and Papageno's glockenspiel in Act I had to be repeated and also the trio for the boys in Act II. But what always gives me the most pleasure is the silent approval! You can see how this opera is becoming more and more esteemed. Now for an account of my own doings. Immediately after your departure I played two games of billiards with Herr von Mozart, the fellow who wrote the opera which is running at Schikaneder's theater; then I sold my nag for fourteen ducats; then I told Joseph to get Primus to fetch me some black coffee, with which I smoked a splendid pipe of tobacco; and then I orchestrated almost the whole of Stadler's rondo. Meanwhile I have had a letter which Stadler has sent me from Prague.

Although the composer was clearly in great spirits, he was dead less than nine weeks later. The letter to Constanze, together with one to her the next day and another the following week, are his last that survive. Mozart died on December 5 at about one in the morning.

"Stadler's rondo" refers to the finale of the Clarinet Concerto we hear today, Mozart's last completed major work (a Masonic cantata and the unfinished Requiem followed). Anton Stadler (1753-1812) provided Mozart with the impetus for a variety of pieces and with them the clarinet entered music history in a truly significant way. The instrument was relatively new and still evolving when Mozart was a youth. He probably first heard it as a child on his travels to England, France, and Germany. More than a decade later, in 1778, he wrote to his father from Mannheim, which boasted a famed orchestra: "Ah, if only we had clarinets too! You cannot imagine the glorious effect of a symphony with flutes, oboes, and clarinets." Mozart used them marvelously in Idomeneo and later operas, but was more sparing in his concertos and symphonies until his final years.

Anton Stadler, and his younger brother, Johann, were leading musicians in Vienna and offered Mozart new possibilities. For Anton he wrote the Clarinet Quintet ("Stadler's Quintet," Mozart called it in a letter), and probably the Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, the so-called "Kegelstatt" (Bowling Alley - allegedly written while playing skittles). Like Mozart, Anton was a Freemason and the two apparently became good friends. Biographers have tended to cast Stadler in a poor light because Mozart lent him a large sum of money that he could ill afford, but they must have enjoyed each other's company. In the late summer of 1791, not long before writing the Concerto, Stadler accompanied Mozart to Prague for the premiere of La clemenza di Tito, in which Mozart included two arias with dazzling parts for obbligato clarinet and basset clarinet (an alto clarinet). As Mozart noted in his letter to Constanze, Stadler had stayed on in Prague and sent updates about the situation there. Mozart probably never heard the Concerto, though Stadler supposedly played it in mid-October in Prague.

Stadler was particularly praised for his playing of the lower "chalumeau" register of the instrument, which raises an important point: The Clarinet Concerto was not written for the clarinet as we know it today. The chronology is unclear, but perhaps as early as 1787 Mozart began to write a Concerto in G for basset horn (K. 621b). He got only part way through the first movement before abandoning it. He returned to the project in 1791, casting it now in A for an instrument with an extended lower register - extra notes at the bottom -exactly the area where Stadler excelled. This alto clarinet is often referred to as a basset clarinet, although it was not called so by either Mozart or Stadler. A review from 1782 mentions the instrument in connection with one of Stadler's concerts and credits its invention to one Theodor Lotz. (Stadler himself later said it was his invention, but by then Lotz was dead.)

In any case, the basset clarinet did not catch on and by the time Mozart's Concerto was first published around 1800, a decade after his death, it had been arranged for a conventional clarinet in A. Mozart's original manuscript is lost and the anonymous arrangement that was published by three different firms made various changes to accommodate an instrument that could not play the lowest four notes Mozart originally wanted. There is therefore occasional awkwardness in the solo line, which later musicians and editors have tried to address in more sensitive versions. (For these performances, Mr. Morales plays a basset clarinet in a reconstruction of Mozart's original Concerto, published by Bärenreiter.)

The Concerto is scored for a small orchestra. Mozart provides the solo instrument with little competition from its woodwind colleagues, omitting the oboes and clarinets entirely, and even the double basses play a reduced role. He explores the chromatic and arpeggio possibilities the instrument offered him and, more importantly, its varied quality of sound in different registers. The soloist leaps from high pitches to low (and the reverse), which can seem to produce a sort of operatic duet between two characters. An enthusiastic critic reviewing Stadler's playing at one of Mozart's concerts in 1784 commented: "Never should I have thought that a clarinet could be capable of imitating a human voice so deceptively. … Truly, [Stadler's] instrument has so soft and so lovely a tone that nobody can resist it who has a heart." Such skills suited Mozart, the supreme opera composer, magnificently by offering the chance for the clarinet to sing.

In any concerto the composer is faced with the issue of the relationship between the soloist and the full ensemble, be it one of conflict, partnership, or something else. Mozart here chose an intimate partnership, often with a chamber-music texture, in which the orchestra asserts itself only in isolated tutti passages. The opening Allegro begins buoyantly rather than triumphantly with the orchestra but, once the soloist enters, moves on to explore a wide variety of moods. The simple ABA form Adagio, a slower tempo than Mozart usually used in his concertos, is the closest to opera and possesses the tinges of melancholy that have sometimes invited overly sentimental placement of his late works. (The movement is, however, in D major for the most part.) The finale is a Rondo: Allegro, in 6/8 meter, in which the lively principal theme is surrounded by episodes of increasing intensity and display.

- Christopher H. Gibbs

Ralph MacLean was the soloist and Saul Caston the conductor in the first complete performances of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto by The Philadelphia Orchestra, in February 1944; one movement only had been performed at a Forum Concert in January 1924. The most recent subscription performances were in October 1983, with Anthony Gigliotti and Riccardo Muti on the podium.

The Orchestra recorded the Concerto once, in 1961 for CBS, with Gigliotti and Eugene Ormandy.

Mozart scored the work for two flutes, two bassoons, two horns, strings, and solo clarinet.

The Concerto runs approximately 30 minutes in performance.

Helmut Eisel coaching Moran Katz

Eisel and Michel Beit Halachmi in concert

David Orlowski in Klezmer rehearsal

Eisel and Katz in concert

15 January 2005

On Tour in Germany

Clarinet Gang  -   The German - Israeli Klezmer & Classic All Stars

Clarinet Gang (4 clarinets, mandolin and double bass) performed in these locations during their tour in Germany:

January 12, 2005 - Tubingen, Jakobuskirche 20:30

January 13, 2005 - Mannheim, Feuerwache 20:00

January 14, 2005 - Homburg Saar, Stadtkirche 20:00

January 15, 2005 - Trier, St. Maximin - Church 20:00

           Helmut Eisel, German Klezmer luminary from Germany, arrived to Safed, Israel as an assistant of Giora Feidman to take part in the Clarinet &  Klezmer in the Galilee  Music Festival in Israel in August with Giora Feidman. It was the first workshop of its kind to combine clarinet teachings from all genres, mixing Jazz, classical and Klezmer. Musicians of various ages from throughout the world participated in this extraordinary week-long festival. It was in this workshop that Helmut met his young colleague, David Orlowsky (klezmer clarinet, Germany), and together with Moran Katz (classical clarinet, Israel/USA), Michal Beit-Halachmi (classical clarinet/bass clarinet, Israel/USA) and Avi Avital (mandolin, Israel/Italy) performed during the week of the festival.  After an intensive week of playing together, as well as performing in several concerts, including an appearance at the Tel Aviv Opera House, it was a clear  decision for Eisel that this stimulating collaboration between German Klezmer and Jewish Classical musicians brought these diverging cultures together. They  developed an initial repertoire consisting of classical music, klezmer and jazz. This unique combination of musicians, which will also include the German double bass player Stefan Engelmann, will be on tour in Germany and France in January.  Not only will this eclectic group play the works by such well known composers like Bloch, Bartok, Piazolla, but original pieces by Eisel and Orlowsky will also be performed, along with traditional klezmer and jazz standards.  For more information, contact Helmut Eisel for details.

The musicians:

Moran Katz, Clarinetist

        Clarinetist Moran Katz has toured extensively through the US, Europe and East Asia as a soloist and chamber musician. Her engagements for the 2004-05 season include performances in France, Holland, Italy, Israel, North Carolina, Washington D.C. and New York's Bargemusic as well as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Among other orchestras, she has been featured soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta. She performed in Geneva (UN Hall), Kyrgyzstan (Biskek Philharmonia Hall), Belgium (Palais des Beaux-Arts in Charleroi), France (Invalides in Paris, Palais des Fetes in Strasburg and Dunkerque Theatre) and New York (Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and Paul Hall).  She is the winner of numerous prizes and awards, such as the first prize at the 2004 Lions Clarinet Competition, 2004 Artists International Auditions (as a member of the “Nesher Trio”), second prize in the 2003 Juilliard Nielsen Concerto Competition and the 2001 Brown-Roger-Ziegl Woodwind Competition in Jerusalem, the 2002 “Thelma Yellin” prize for excellence in Music and Clarinet Performance and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation grants with distinction since 1999. Ms. Katz is currently studying with Mr. Charles Neidich at The Juilliard School, New York, where shewas admitted with presidential distinction and a full scholarship.  She participated in festivals in Israel, Hungary, Belgium, California, Vermont and Florida and recorded many times for radio and TV stations.

Michal Beit-Halachmi, Clarinetist

“Ms. Beit-Halachmi has exquisite control over tone production, breath control and line.”

New York Concert Review

                   Israeli born clarinetist Michal Beit-Halachmi graduated from Givatayim Conservatory, where she studied with Eva Wasermann-Margolis. She continued her musical studies in the United States on full scholarships at Indiana University, with Howard Klug and Duquesne University, with Mark Nuccio, receiving her Bachelor of Music Degree in 1999. In 2002, she received her Master of Music degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook, under the tutelage of Charles Neidich. She has been a scholarship recipient of the America- Israel Cultural Foundation since 1997.

                  Winner of the Solo Recital Awards of Artists International, Ms. Beit-Halachmi performed her New York  Debut in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on March 8, 2003. Highlights of the past season include a tour of Russia and Armenia with the American- Russian Young Artist Orchestra, performances at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (Germany) and a concert in the Salzburg Music Festival with members of the Vienna Philharmonic. Other festival appearances include the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, and Domaine Forget in Quebec, Canada.

                 She has concertized extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Israel and in Russia, Belgium, Hungary, Germany and the United States. She performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Pittsburgh Youth Orchestra in 1997. In 1999 she won the Pittsburgh Concert Society Award, which entitled her to a solo recital that took place in October 2000. Currently she plays with Raanana Symphony, Israel, where she also plays with contemporary music groups.

                 Featured on WQED-Pittsburgh in November 2001, she performed works presented on her solo CD,  “Air Craft”- homages to famous composers, including Bach, Paganini, Debussy, Bartok and others by Hungarian composer Bela Kovacs. The CD also features the “ Overture on Hebrew themes” by Sergei Prokofiev with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

 Avi Avital , Mandolin

                Born in Israel, 1978. Graduate of the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Municipal Conservatory in Beer-Sheva.  He won the international competition “Giovani Talenti” that took place in  Casteggio, Italy, in the year 2003; The national Paul Ben-Haim Competition for the performance of Israeli music in the year 1999; and was twice the winner of solo performance competitions with the orchestra of the Jerusalem Music Academy (1998,2001). He was awarded a scholarship from the Tzvi Rotenberg National Competition for Strings (Haifa, 2000) andscholarships from the America – Israel Cultural Foundation (2001) and from the Italian minister of foreign affairs. Avi Avital played with several orchestras: Orchestra Cantelli di Milano  (Italy), the Baroque Ensemble Arion (Italy), the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra in Tel Aviv, the New Israeli  Opera, the Jerusalem Cameratta, the Beer-Sheva Symphonietta, and the Chamber Orchestra of the Jerusalem Music Academy; conducted Among the others, by M° Mstislav Rostropovitch, Arie Fish,  Phillip Antremont, Adrew Laurence King, and Oskar Gershonzon.  Avi Avital has recorded albums with the Kerman Mandolin Quartet, and with the Kaprizma Ensemble, of which he is a member, and likewise, with the Cittá di Brescia Orchestra in Italy. He recorded the Vivaldi Concerto for two mandolin with “Orchestra Cantelli di Milano” that will be published on the next months. These performances and other live concerts, have been broadcasted on the Israeli radio channel “Kol Israel” and the WQXR in New-York. He has performed widely in Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Latvia and The Philippines, in which he played in international festivals. Avi dedicates a large portion of his musical activity to performance and to the creation of an original  Israeli repertoire. Until now, he has performed 18 premiere performances for Israeli compositions written for the mandolin, some of which were written and dedicated to him. His activity includes also combinations with the worlds of Theatre, Improvised Dance and World Music. Since last year, Avi has been studying in the Conservatorio Cesera Pollini, in Padova, Italy, under the guidance of Maestro Ugo Orlandi.

 David Orlowsky, Clarinetist

            David Orlowsky was born in 1981 in Tubingen, Southwestern Germany, and started his musical training at age 10 in the local music school with percussionist Heinz von Moisy. In 1994 he switched to clarinet studies with Rudolf Mauz and later joined his junior student class at the conservatory in Trossingen. In 1997 his mother took him to a concert with Giora Feidman; this concert changed his life. Later on he attended a seminar with the “King of Klezmer”.Feidman was so taken by the young man’s talent that he asked him to join him in several concerts. David Orlowsky was awarded The Young Talent Award of the South West German Savings Bank and has repeatedly won the renowned German competition “Jugend Musiziert“.  He participated in chamber music master classes with professors Albrecht Gürsching and Thomas Brandis. In 1997, he founded his own Klezmer trio, "David Orlowsky’s Klezmorim“, which performed in several European festivals. David and his ensemble have appeared on numerous television shows and they have recorded three CDs. (  

          David Orlowsky is a member of the Southwest German Youth Orchestra. Tours with several ensembles brought him to Scotland, Portugal and South Africa. Since October 2002 he has been studying clarinet with Professor Manfred Lindner at the Folkwang School of Music in Essen, Germany.

 Helmut Eisel, Clarinetist

             After his diploma in Mathematics in 1985, Helmut Eisel worked as a  business consultant until 1993. During that time he started taking part in Giora Feidman's masters courses. Together with ESPE and his own trio Helmut Eisel & JEM, he gave concerts in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Georgia, and Israel. Engagements with the National Theater Mannheim (»Ghetto«) and the theatre Basel (»Sunset«) forced him to decide. Since then he has dedicated himself to music. In 1995, he made some radio and television recordings with Giora Feidman. He founded a Klezmer orchestra, a clarinet quartet »Helmut Eisel Clarinet Funtet« (CD »Funtasie«), and performed with workers suffering from physical injuries resulting from exposure to noise. 1998 saw the birth of the duo »Eisel's clarinet stories« and a solo programme; the quintet »Helmut Eisel & Band« was founded in 2001.  With this group and with his trio „Helmut Eisel & JEM“ he played in numerous radio and tv-shows and in festivals like the “Schleswig Holstein Music Festival”, the “Klezmer Festival Fürth”, and the Roskilde EBU festival.

             Since 1993, Helmut Eisel has regularly conducted workshops »Klezmer Improvisations« and contributed in the fields of improvisation, communication, and corporate culture.

             He has published 10 CDs, a note book and an improvisation method with klezmer music and jazz, and he composed the music for several films. In December 2004, the première of his newest work, the symphonic tale “Naftule und der König”, will take place in Saarbrücken.

 Stefan Engelmann – Double Bassist

        Bassist Stefan Englemann discovered his love of jazz as a member of the youth jazz orchestra of the Saarland, where the foundations of his musical career were laid.  He experimented with quite a few other types of music and toured Europe with several musicals, after which he returned to jazz. Today he is one ofthe most sought-after bassists in Germany.

From 1999 to 2001 he played in guitarist Michael Sagmeister's trio.

Since October 2000 he has been playing with »Helmut Eisel & JEM« and »Helmut Eisel & Band«.

Pacquita Rivera and Ronnie Odrich

Pacquiya Rivera, Mike Getzin, and Ron Odrich

Rivera as soloist with the USAF Band's 'Airman of Note'

Rivera and Clarinet Maker Luis Rossi

7 January 2005

Long Beach, California USA

International Association of Jazz Educators Jazz Honors

   Honors were bestowed by The National Endowment for the Arts for several Jazz greats as shown below.  Two of these greats included Artie Shaw who passed away 30 December 04 and Paquita Rivera, Jazz great from Cuba.  Detailed information posted on the IAJE Jazz Masters website.





2005 NEA Jazz Masters Ceremony

On Friday, January 7, 2005 Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts,  honored the seven recipients of the 2005 NEA Jazz Masters Award -- Kenny Burrell (guitarist), Paquito D’Rivera (clarinetist-saxophonist), Slide Hampton (arranger-composer), Shirley Horn (vocalist), Artie Shaw (big band leader), Jimmy Smith (keyboardist), and George Wein (jazz advocate) -- at a gala ceremony and concert. Joining Chairman Gioia in celebration of the 2005 NEA Jazz Masters will be a roster of nationally renowned artists.

The event will took place at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, California as part of the annual conference of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE).

Each year since 1982, the Arts Endowment has awarded this title to a handful of living figures in recognition of their exceptional contributions to jazz. Designation as an NEA Jazz Master is the nation’s highest honor in jazz and may be conferred on a solo instrumentalist, rhythm instrumentalist, keyboardist, arranger-composer, big band leader, vocalist, or jazz advocate.

Further details will be available on this web site.


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Revised: October 13, 2007