Introducing Mozart’s Clarinet

How is Mozart’s clarinet different to the modern-day clarinet? Antony Pay, principal clarinet player with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, talks us through the development of the clarinet.

The staple instrument in Mozart’s time was the five-key clarinet. The composer would write for this instrument until the addition of further keys were needed to play more complicated music. This developed to what we recognise today as the modern clarinet. However, Pay thinks there is a nuance in sound which is lost when playing with these extra keys on a modern clarinet. For this reason, the musician prefers to play a type of basset clarinet he believes enables you to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto best.

Find out more about this incredible instrument and its subtle differences in this video from OAE.

Introducing Mozart's Clarinet

For Mozart, at this particular time, the clarinet was capable of taking on a very significant part of in his works.
Antony Pay, of the OAE, on this history of Mozart’s clarinet

Hear Pay perform with this instrument, conducted by Giovanni Antonini, in the OAE’s Love and Duty concert in Royal Festival Hall on Monday 4 February 2019.

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