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Anton Stadler (28 June 1753, Bruck an der Leitha – 15 June 1812, Vienna) was an Austrian clarinet and basset horn player for whom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote both his Quintet for Clarinet and Strings and Clarinet Concerto.

He was reputed to have a beautiful tone, with exceptional mastery of the low register of the basset clarinet and basset horn playing. A contemporary Viennese critic, referring to Stadler, wrote, “I would not have thought that a clarinet could imitate the human voice so deceptively as you imitate it. Your instrument is so soft, so delicate in tone that no-one who has a heart can resist it."[1] A noted virtuoso, he played second to his brother Johann in the Vienna Court Orchestra. It was possibly this specialism in second clarinet along with the basset horn that led to his collaboration with Theodor Lotz (1748-1792), a clarinet maker. His idea was to add an extension to his B-flat and A clarinets – in the same vein as the basset horn – an extra major third to a low C. It was for this extended clarinet (now known as the basset clarinet but initially called a bass clarinet in the days before the modern bass had been invented) that the Clarinet Concerto and possibly the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings were written.

Notes

  1. ^ Johann Friedrich Schink, "Musikalische Akademie von Stadler", Litterarische Fragmente, (Graz 1785).
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