ORFEO International


April 2011

Dieter Klöcker 75th Anniversary

In an age when many internationally acclaimed performers limit themselves to a relatively restricted repertory, Dieter Klöcker – to whom we offer our warmest good wishes on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday – stands alone. For decades he has pursued a dual career, not only appearing as a clarinettist in the world’s great concert halls but also undertaking research work in the musical archives of large cities and of remote principalities from the past, in the process discovering examples of wonderful wind music that would otherwise have been lost for ever to the audiophiles of today. Dieter Klöcker
Dieter Klöcker
Together with the Consortium Classicum, which he founded in the 1960s, he has made countless recordings of works scored for the most disparate resources, from quartets to nonets. His most recent recording on the Orfeo label is devoted to wind arrangements of numbers from operas by Antonio Salieri and once again makes it clear why we do well to revise our traditional beliefs about certain composers whose reputation appears to have been eclipsed during the age of the gramophone. Of course, it is not only with other chamber musicians that Dieter Klöcker has undertaken this task of rediscovering and rehabilitating neglected composers. He has also appeared as a virtuoso soloist with various orchestras, repeatedly demonstrating the extent to which it is worth our while to explore the works of Leopold Kozeluch alongside those of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and to examine the output of Saverio Mercadante in addition to that of Gioachino Rossini, while Felix Mendelssohn’s oeuvre gains much from our knowledge of the contemporary output of Heinrich Joseph Baermann and his son Carl. The example of Heinrich Joseph and Carl Baermann, both of whom were closely associated with the clarinet, also throws important light on the age of the virtuoso, especially when listeners are aware of the background information collated and set forth by Dieter Klöcker in his programme notes to his recordings: in the case of the Baermanns, the old cliché of the vapid and vain display of scalar passages played at breakneck speed without due regard for reflection or expressive depth no longer makes any sense. Like other composers of their generation, they have come to be acknowledged and appreciated as musicians of the first rank, contributing decisively to the definitive form of the works that they performed. It is hard to see another musician like Dieter Klöcker emerging from the musical scene today.