Variations Brilliantes (Op. 8) was written in 1844 for
Solo Bb Clarinet and Orchestra (2 Flutes, Oboes, Clarinets, Bassoons,
Horns in Eb, Trumpets in Eb, Timpani and Strings). The title page
states that it was composed for and dedicated to his friend "Fred.
Sendelbeck by Charles Baermann".
Carl Baermann (often seen as Karl Bärmann and sometimes with Charles
as his first name), clarinetist, basset-horn player, teacher and
composer, was born in Munich on October 24, 1810 and died on May 23,
1885, in Munich. His father was Heinrich Baermann (1784-1847), the most famous clarinetist of the first half of the 19th century - for whom Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) composed: Concertino (Op. 26), Concerto No. 1 in F Minor (Op. 73), Concerto No. 2 in Eb Major (Op. 74), Variations (Op. 33) and Quintet (for Clarinet & Strings, Op. 34).
Carl also played the basset-horn, a lower pitched type of clarinet in F, with range extended down to low C - Felix Mendelssohn’s (1809-1847) 2 Concert Pieces, Op. 113 & 114, were written for Heinrich (on clarinet), Carl (on basset-horn) and Mendelssohn himself on piano.
Although Carl was an excellent performer and toured with Heinrich for several years, he was best known as a composer (over 88 works) and teacher. Upon Heinrich’s retirement in 1834, Carl succeeded him as principal clarinet with the Court Orchestra in Munich; also in this orchestra was flautist Theobald Boehm (1794-1881), the inventor of the modern flute (1847).
Probably because of this close association with Boehm, Carl, along with instrument maker Georg Ottensteiner (1815-1879), invented an 18 keyed clarinet in 1860. The modern Boehm system clarinet had been invented in Paris in 1843 by clarinetist Hyacinthe Klosé (1808-1880) and instrument maker Louis-Auguste Buffet (1789-1864) - Theobald Boehm had nothing to do with the Boehm system clarinet.
Baermann’s Celebrated Method (Op. 63 & 64, written between 1864 and 1875) was, among other things, designed to display the advantages of his clarinet over other fingering systems. Carl’s clarinet was superior to many of the earlier fingering systems, and was championed by many clarinetists including Richard Mühlfeld (1856-1907) - the clarinetist for whom Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) composed his Trio, Op. 114 (for clarinet, cello & piano), Quintet, Op. 115 (for clarinet & strings) and 2 Sonatas, Op. 120 (for clarinet & piano). The Boehm system, however, eventually became the standard, and Carl’s clarinet fingering system disappeared.
His Celebrated Method (and its Piano accompaniment) did survive and is still widely used today, representing an interesting example of a clarinet playing tradition, passed from father to son, starting in the Classical Period (1750-1825), with Heinrich and continuing through the Romantic Period (1825-1900).
Baermann’s Complete Celebrated Method (Op. 63) is available
(with a Play-a-long Audio CD - also containing SmartMusic files)
see Carl Baermann - Clarinet Solos
9”X12” - 12 pages - $14.95
with CD - 1 smp file
Please note that this is
NOT and Audio CD