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Andreas Spaeth (1790-1876)
Alpenlied  Op. 167 No. 7

Spaeth was an extraordinarily versatile musician.  Born in a village near Coburg, he began his career as clarinettist in a wind band at the court of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, returning there in 1838 to become Kapellmeister and Court Organist to Duke Ernst (Prince Albert's father).  From 1821 to 1837 he worked as organist, violinist, conductor and singing teacher in Switzerland and began to establish a reputation as <one of the most fluent and popular composers of the present time= (Gassner, 1849)  His works in all forms include five operas, cantatas and oratorios (including Judas Iscariot, 1856), church music, military marches and much teaching repertoire for piano.

For the clarinet Spaeth composed a concerto, concertino, salon pieces and,  most successfully, a Symphonie concertante for two clarinets and orchestra.  The Alpenlied was published as supplement to Sechs Schweizer Lieder, Op. 167, soon after his return to Coburg; the set is dedicated to the Court Music - and Theatre - Intendant, Baron von Hanstein.  As no poet is credited one might guess that a collection of Swiss folk poetry provided the source for all the texts.

Oliver Davies

Alpenlied  has been recorded by Eiriann James, Colin Bradbury and Oliver Davies on The Obbligato Clarinet (The Divine Art: 25025)


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