Antonio Casimir Cartellieri clarinet’s solo works represent a mixture of

eighteenth-century writing traits. The wind virtuoso era experienced a great

transition of style and taste during its three decades. In a period from

approximately the death of Mozart to the death of Beethoven, the traveling

virtuoso lived through the drastic change of style. Cartellieri was one of

several composers for the clarinet during this transitional period who shaped

the direction of clarinet writing for the nineteenth century. Others affecting this

change include composers Crusell, Weber, Spohr, H. Baermann and for the

second half of the century Cavallini, Debussy, Saint-Sans and Brahms.

Range of tessitura

The eighteenth-century use of the clarinet severely limited the range

and tessitura1. The solo works of Stamitz, Yost, Lefevrè sum up the

eighteenth-century conception of stylized writing for the clarinet. These

works show tight confinement to the clarion register, dipping into the

chalumeau for technical passages like arpeggios or chordal function.

With regard to range and tessitura, the deservedly well-known Mozart

solo works, K. 581 and K. 622, are quite the exception to the normal

practice of that time. It is generally conceded that both, the quintet and

the concerto, were written for the basset horn and the basset clarinet,

instruments whose range extended downwards to written C in the bass

clef. Differently from Mozart and his contemporaries, that limited the

altissimo register on the G’’’, Cartellieri extended the Clarinet’s range

to the A’’’ as shown in Fig. 12 and 13.


Articulation assumed a top priority in the eighteenth century and is

comprehensively addressed in methods and treatises. Pages are devoted

to examples of how to articulate passages in a variety of ways- a

concern infrequently displayed in modern performance. A melody

sounded stylish to eighteenth-century ears only if the proper

articulations were used. It would not have been acceptable to play a

diatonic scale using the same tongue-stroke on all eight notes, but rather

by pairing the notes two-by-two or four-by-four by means of different


Skilled and subtle use of different types of articulation was considered a

sign of a true artist. As Lefèvre wrote, “only the tongue can put

expression into melody and into the virtuosic passages. Without

tonguing, such passages would sound cold, thin and monotonous” 2.

The subject is elusive for us today since articulating on a clarinet with

the reed on top may be difficult to replicate, given that this way of

playing has disappeared. In his Essai of 1764, Valentin Roeser

recommends using the chest instead of the tongue to articulate, but this

is exceptional. Roeser says that clarinetists cannot play a rapid

succession of notes, which may suggest that clarinetists at this time

tended to slur extended passagework. Lefèvre recommends the syllable

“tu”, similar to other eighteenth-century treatises on wind instruments,

and disapproves of using the chest, stating that “those who play from

the chest get very tired and cannot play for long”3.

Printed signs for articulation also varied. Whereas most clarinet

methods simply refer to notes marked staccato as short, there was some

discrepancy in performing notes with dots and notes with dashes in

eighteenth-century sources. Leopold Mozart indicates that the dash

above a note makes it short but also somewhat heavier than a dot,

whereas Turk states the opposite.

Cartellieri in his clarinet works shows a preference for the older style of

the eighteenth-century, while Crusell, for example, displays traits of the

Romantic style (fig.17). Cartellieri doesn’t show diverse articulation

patterns within groups of sixteenth notes, adhering to a regularly

recurring pattern as shown in fig. 18-19-20.

Rapid scale passages in Cartellieri’s works are more often written with

each tone articulated. Variation of articulation was considered an

important expressive device, as Lefèvre makes clear: “if the

composer does not indicate the articulation of passages, the

intelligence of the artist should supply it. If a passage is repeated two

times, it must be played forte, and the piano, or first piano and then

forte, according to the character of the work. If finally, the passage is

repeated more than two times, one may make use of different

articulations to add nuance”4.

There were mostly two kinds of cadenzas in classical music: the

cadenza approached by the six-four chord at a full cadence (read

above); and the various connection or closing flourishes at half

cadences derived mostly from those used in baroque and pre-classical

music6.  In Cartellieri's works, we have some examples of written-out

“cadential flourish”. In the first movement of the quartet No. 2 (fig. 23)

and in the Adagio of the Concerto No. 3 in E-flat Major (fig. 24), the

embellishment serves to lead into the recapitulation. In the concerto

No.4 (fig. 25), the flourishment leads into the new phrase of the



Cartellieri also accomplished an equalizing action balancing a wider

tessitura than was commonly employed in works of his time. The

lower tones of the clarion register serve as balance point by which the

pendulum can favour either direction: either upwards toward the

altissimo area, or downwards, toward the chalumeau register. This

effect not only a wider range but a wider tessitura, a new concept not

readily found in the literature in many of Cartellieri’s contemporaries.


The slow movements generally encompass a slightly smaller range

than do the other movements, regardless of genre. The tessitura in

these movements, however, is most confining, not unlike many works

of the period. Much less use of the notes below the clarion register

occurs in the second movements, perhaps indicating that in the late

eighteen century the tone quality of the chalumeau register is still not

considered aesthetically satisfactory for cantabile use (fig 14 -15). Low

notes are not as commonly used in the third movements as they are in

the first movements. The rich, mellow quality of tone in the depths of

the instrument’s compass is never emphasized as it is by Mozart in

the Larghetto of his Quintet K. 581 and in the rondo of his Concerto

K. 622 (fig. 16). This distinction in the concept of the value of the

chalumeau register is not to be attributed entirely to the recognized

gulf between the greater and lesser composer.

“A cadenza is a surprising discretionary embellishment appropriate to

the main passion of the piece or movement, on a note before the final

trill with fermata sign; or it is an artificial, decorative, surprising

lead-in appropriate to the main sentiment, from the note with the

fermata sign to the cadential trill"5.

Because classical woodwind cadenzas were usually invented by their

performers, few have survived in published form. Some cadenzas,

mostly written by the performers who played the pieces, are found in

eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century manuscripts or occasionally

in printed editions. An example can be found in the Concerto No.3 in

B-flat Major by Carl Stamitz (fig. 21).





Cartellieri in his clarinet solo works does not show himself to be fond

of elaborate cadenzas. Although in the quartets and concertos, there

are passages of cadenza character which are accompanied and placed

before the coda. The only cadenza approached by a six-four chord

is in his Double Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Major, as shown in figure 22.

Use of Cadenza

General characteristic of the solo part

Fig. 25 – Clarinet concerto No. 4 in B-flat Major, III mov, bar n 273-283 (CZ-Pk 513).

Fig. 23– Clarinet quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, I mov, bar n  125 - 133 (CZ-Pk 3 C 71).

Fig. 16– W. A. Mozart clarinet concerto K622, III mov, bar n 205-207; 222 - 224

Fig. 22 - Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Major, Clarinetto primo, I mov, bar n 313- 335 (CZ-Pk 513)

Fig. 15– Clarinet concerto No. 4 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n  175-183(CZ-Pk 513)

Fig. 20 – Clarinet concerto No. 4 in B-flat Major, III mov, bar n  233-243 (CZ-Pk 513).

Fig. 21 - Carl Stamitz - Concerto No 3 in B-flat Major, I mov (A-Wn; Mus.Hs.5865)

Fig. 14 – Clarinet Concerto No. 4 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 67-82 (CZ-Pk 513)

Fig. 18– Clarinet concerto No. 4 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 172- 185 (CZ-Pk 513)

Fig. 13 - Clarinet quartet No 1 in D major, I mov, bar n 280 -284 (CZ-Pk 3 C 71)

Fig. 24 – Clarinet concerto No. 3 in E-flat Major, II mov, bar n 38 (CZ-Pk 513).

Fig. 19 – Clarinet concerto No. 4 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 112-119 (CZ-Pk 513)

Fig. 17 – B. H. Crusell. Clarinet quartet op 2, I mov. (a) bar  n 66-68; (b) bar n 77-78; (c) bar n 80-83.

Fig. 12 - Concerto No.1 for two clarinets in B-flat Major (First clarinet part), I mov, bar n. 303-335  (CZ-Pk 512).

Fig. 17–