Other figurations that occur more frequently in the Cartellieri clarinet

concertos and quartet than do chromatic scales include the short

written-out trill, use of which can also be found in Mozart or Stamitz’s

clarinet concertos. One illustration of this kind of figure is shown in

figures 35 and 36.

The dynamic levels Cartellieri uses in the solo parts range from

pianissimo to fortissimo. The softer levels, below mezzo-forte, appear

most often, and many times these are marked “dolce”. The slow

movement dynamic plan is generally arched, beginning and ending at a

soft dynamic level and reaching the loudest volume in the middle


The final aspect of Cartellieri's instrumental writing for the solo

clarinet to be discussed is the character and extent of the virtuosic

passages. It is rather astonishing to see this display of difficulty and

virtuosity in his works, because it speaks to the high level of clarinetists

performing at this time. This remark is intended to be understood in a

framework of reference to earlier concertos, as for instance Mozart’s

concerto, the concertos of Tausch, Stamitz and the other virtuosos of

the end of the century and the nineteenth-century concertos by Crusell,

Weber, and Spohr. Certainly, if this remark were taken in the smaller

context of reference only to Cartellieri’s concertos and quartets, its

correctness is questionable. 

An outstanding trait of Cartellieri’s works is the scoring. The timbre

and the texture selection innately suits the musical event at any given

moment. In the quartet, while the clarinet clearly dominates the works,

there are sly bits of imitation, textural relief of passages, and entire

sections without the clarinet, and a constant flux of timbres achieved

through varying the balance of the four instruments. In the concertos,

Cartellieri balances the clarinet and orchestra expertly. During

chalumeau passages, the accompaniment is reduced to minimal size

so that the orchestra does not need to strain its volume constantly

below the marked dynamic level (fig. 34).

A favorite frequently used pattern is a sequential, rolling diatonic

figuration, as seen in the figures 37-38-39-40.

The diatonic scale sweep through most of the clarinet’s range is

illustrated in Fig. 34. Long scale sweep through a large part of the

clarinet’s compass, a dramatic, precipitous dash from top to bottom, or

vice-versa. This kind of impetuous rush up or down the scale.

Antonio Casimir Cartellieri appears to have followed Valentin

Roeser’s advice to composer for the clarinet: “ The surest and best

rule for composer to follow in writing for the clarinet is to aim at a

goal of an agreeable melody and to avoid large jumps and passages

which are too chromatic”1. Cartellieri’s generous flow of expressive

melodies certainly follow the letter of the first part of these

instructions. To allow the player further opportunity for exhibiting the

clarinet’s tonal beauty and also its powers of dynamic gradation.

Roeser’s caution against large skips seems to deprive the composer of

one of the supposedly most distinctive idiomatic characteristics of the

clarinet, the difference in quality in the two principal registers of its

compass and its capacity for facile change from one to the other.


A very important characteristic in the idiomatic use of the clarinet is

the extent of the use of the chalumeau register. The concertos and quartets examined for the study vary considerably in the use of the

low register. In three movements a differentiation was made for

notes whose use is unusually heavy in certain passages where they

function as a pivot point for a broken pattern such as seen in the

following examples (fig. 26-27-28-29).



Cartellieri’s writing for the clarinet demonstrates an understanding of

the acoustical properties of the instrument. He is among the first

composers to approach the altissimo register by disjunct motion

without regularity.


Sudden octave or compound-octave shifts emphasizing the color of the

different registers become a trademark of Cartellieri’s style. At times

these large skips occur consecutively and in other instances, they are

isolated to provide expressive contrast from preceding or succeeding

middle-register passages by bypassing the clarion register. Compound

leaps are at the time used for demonstrating the flexibility of the

instrument and show disjunct rapid leaps requiring great agility that

was to become a necessary part of the clarinetist’s technique in the

nineteenth century.

Fig. 42 - Concerto no 2 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 100- 120 (CZ-PK 512)

Fig. 43 - Quartet No 1 in D-Major, I mov, bar n 257 - 279. (CZ-PK 3 C 71)

Idiomatic treatment of the Clarinet

Fig. 27- Clarinet Quartet No 3 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 142 - 158 (CZ-Pk 3 C 72)

Fig. 35 – Clarinet quartet No. 4 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 114 - 120 (CZ-Pk 3 C 71).

Fig. 36 – Clarinet Quartet No 2 in E-flat Major, I mov, bar n 94 - 98 (CZ-Pk 3 C 71).

Fig. 45 - Clarinet quartet No 4 in B-flat Major, III mov, variation 1, bar n 19 -35 (CZ-PK 3 C 72)

Fig. 30– Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in E-flat Major, I mov, bar n 90-  105 (CZ-Pk 513)

Fig. 37- Clarinet Quartet No 2 in E-flat Major, III mov, bar n 16 -- 28 (CZ-Pk 3 C 71)

Fig. 28 – Clarinet Quartet no 4 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 121 - 128 (CZ-Pk 3 C 72)

Fig. 29 – Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in E-flat Major, I mov, bar n 259 -267 (CZ-Pk 513)

Fig. 26 – Clarinet Concerto No. 3 E-flat Major, I mov, bar n 252 - 526 (CZ-Pk 513)

Fig. 33- Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 260 - 276 (CZ-Pk 512)

Fig. 34– Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar 251-257 (CZ-Pk 512)

Fig. 40 – Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in E-flat Major, I mov, bar n 265 - 269 (CZ-Pk 513)

Fig. 44 - Concerto No. 4 in B-flat Major, III mov, variation 4, bar n 76 -107 (CZ-PK 513)

Fig. 31 – Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 67- 71 (CZ-Pk 512).

Fig. 32– Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 111-120 (CZ-Pk 512)

Fig. 38 - Clarinet Concerto No 2 in B-flat Major, I mov, bar n 68 - 71 (CZ-Pk 512)

Fig. 39 – Clarinet Quartet No 2 in E-flat Major, I mov, bar n 58-63 (CZ-Pk 3 C71)

Fig. 41 – Clarinet Concerto No 3 in E flat, III mov, bar n 164 - 197 (CZ-Pk 513)