From the time of its invention, a new instrument will have music written for it only when composers have heard the instrument played well. Mozart's Concerto for Clarinet, written in 1791, is generally considered the first great work for that relatively young instrument. The completion of the Concerto occurred almost one century following its invention, and was inspired by the virtuoso Anton Stadler. Brahms was inspired by the great German clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld, and created four major works for the clarinet. Although Brahms lived until 1897, more than a half century after the saxophone was born, there was no equal to Richard Muhlfeld whom he could hear playing the saxophone. There is a striking parallel with the history of the saxophone, as the first great works were composed nearly one century after its invention — concertos by Glazunov in 1934, and Ibert in 1935 — both inspired by the virtuoso Sigurd Rascher.
The construction of Glazunov's work is unique in that it does not follow the traditional format of three movements. It is comprised of numerous sections, all of which are connected, thus it would be a misnomer to refer to it as a one-movement concerto.
This edition, edited by Eugene Rousseau, includes a new piano reduction, while attempting to get an orchestra-like feel, yet still making the music "pianistic".
Eugene Rousseau has included his own extended version of Glazunov's cadenza.
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