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The Haydns and the clarinet

German clarinetist Dieter Klöcker recorded in 1997 a concerto by Joseph Haydn once thought lost. Indeed, Fetis in his monumental Biographie universelle des musiciens  published in 1834-1835 mentions "concerto pour clarinette chez le prince Estherazy, en manuscrit " While listening to this recording,  we are struck by the beauty and elegance of this concerto and this confirms that this is the work of a great master of the classical period.


Impossible to see the name of a composer on the full orchestral score. It is lost. But the University library in Münster has a manuscript of 78 pages including all the individual parts. After a thourough analysis of the paper and calligraphy, the Haydn Austrian Society certifies that the music has been written in the late eighteenth century, probably soon after the Mozart concerto and that the individual parts are by different hands and were copied at different times: the older pages have been written around 1790, the last ones after 1810. This also indicates that there have been more than one orchestration for this concerto, which would prove that the work was performed with a sustained success at the turn of the eighteenth century.


Exceptional musician, Dieter Klöcker is the founder and music director of  the Consortium Classicum . He has to his credit over a hundred recordings focusing on the music of the classical and romantic periods, several of them featuring unpublished works found in private libraries or only published at the time of their composition and often unknown to modern musicians and audiences. 

Prince Esterhazy taking a clarinet lesson with Anton Stadler, who premiered Mozart's clarinet concerto  K. 622.

Comparing handwritten parts and the recording ... surprise! The recording appears to have numerous variants including the addition of whole sections. What is this concerto in its original form, whose historical authenticity cannot be doubted? According to Klöcker the "authenticity of the Concerto [appears] unmistakable, but it is especially stylistically that it is revealed: it is clearly a work of the last period [of Haydn], during which the influence of Mozart became increasingly important. The summit is undoubtedly the adagio, reminiscent at times of the slow movement of the Oxford Symphony ".


Did Joseph Haydn write a clarinet concerto? This lecture also adresses the question of authenticity and potential pitfalls of research in the days of internet.

In concert

At the concert, the audience is invited to vote ... Who wrote the «concerto mystère»? Joseph Haydn? Anton Stadler, who premiered  the Mozart concerto and clarinet teacher of Prince Estherazy? Götling who could be the sponsor of the work and whose name appears on a page?

Suggested program : concerto mystère, clarinet  concertino by Michael Haydn and a contemporary sympnhony like no 92 «Oxford»



To our knowledge, the concerto in its original form has not been played since the time of its creation. An old premiere in the waiting ...

  • Adagio
    Concerto mystère
    Dieter Klöcker  et Prager Kammerorchester

  • Allegro spirituoso
    Concertino by Michael Haydn
    Concert recording - Orchestre 21, conducted by Paolo Bellomia, Pollack Hall, Montreal

  • Andante
    Concertino by Michael Haydn
    Concert recording - Orchestre 21, conducted by Paolo Bellomia, Pollack Hall, Montreal

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