José Luis Estellés
It has been common in the history of recording to combine the quintets for clarinet and strings by Mozart and Weber on a CD. Hardly surprising, as these two works represent the historical establishment of this instrumental combination as a chamber music archetype, used by other concurrent composers in their time and endorsed in successive epochs by such figures as Brahms, Reger, Hindemith, and so down to the most notable of today’s creators. But there are other reasons.
Although Mozart lived just six years following the birth of Carl Maria von Weber, the two were remotely related, by a variety of coincidences: the half-brother of Weber’s father Fridolin was the father of Constanze Weber, eventually married to Mozart, and of her sister Aloysia, with whom he fell in love first. Mozart met the Webers in Mannheim in 1777, but it was at their residence in Vienna, ‘Zum Auge Gottes’ (In the Eyes of God) where he once more encountered Constanze and her mother, a circumstance leading to the renowned marriage. It is most curious that, finally, the remains of Leopold rest in the Mozart tomb, surrounded by various members of the Weber family, but with no other Mozart.