Concert Focus: Clarinet in Concert

Posted on: March 28, 2011 in: Concert Focus

Michael Collins makes his London debut as our new Principal Conductor at Cadogan Hall on 7 April. It’s an exciting opportunity for Michael to further solidify his presence on the conductor’s podium and at the same time remind us all of what makes him such a special musician.  Indisputably one of the leading clarinettists of his generation, Michael will take command of a programme that is full of virtuosic works, journeying from Weber’s Classical Europe to Barber’s evocative 20 Century America.


Carl Maria von Weber composed his Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in 1811 and it has since become a staple in the clarinet repertoire. Commissioned by King Maximilian I of Bavaria and written specifically for Weber’s friend Heinrich Barmann, this concerto is set over 3 movements, adopting a standard fast-slow-fast pattern that allows the soloist to express their remarkable range.



Joining us for the concert is exciting UK soprano, Carolyn Sampson. Equally at home on the concert and opera stages, Carolyn has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout Europe and the US. In 2011 she makes her debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra as well as giving recitals at Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York. 


Carolyn will be performing Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915. This serene and luscious rhapsody for voice and orchestra premiered in 1948 with Eleanor Steber (who commissioned the piece) and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Barber set the music to excerpts from James Agee’s short story Knoxville, which conveys his childhood remembrance of an earlier, simpler era, free of the unrest brought on by the ravages of war.


Both of these pieces, along with the rest of the concert programme, can be found in our Concert Playlist.


Michael Collins: Clarinet in Concert


City of London Sinfonia

Michael Collins conductor/clarinet

Carolyn Sampson soprano 


Weber Clarinet Concertino

Mozart Aria: Ah, lo previdi

Weber Clarinet Concerto No. 1

Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915

Copland Appalachian Spring