flute, piano
Southern Music Co.
Product Code

Adagio by Heinrich Baermann
Attributed to R. Wagner
Arranged for flute and piano by David Hite
Piano Reduction by Jean Knox

Originally for clarinet and string quartet, this beautiful Adagio has over the years been mistakenly attributed to Richard Wagner (1813-1883).  In 1922 Michael Balling, a Wagner scholar, discovered a copy of the unidentified manuscript and published it four years later as an early work of Wagner, and it gained considerable popularity as a Wagner composition.  As recently as 1985, it was included in the repertoire of the New York City Ballet, programmed as the Wagner Adagio.  Various editions of this work have been claimed that this movement was a septet written by Wagner in Wurzburg in 1833.  A version with an added bass line has been published for clarinet and string orchestra.

In 1964, however, Hans-Georg Bach publicized his research as to a different identity of this work.  He has discovered that the Adagio was actually the middle movement of the Clarinet Quintet, Opus 23, by Heinrich Baermann (his third clarinet quintet) published in 1821. Heinrich Baermann (1784-1847) was internationally famous as a clarinet soloist.  Carl Maria von Weber composed his Concertino and two full Concertos (in f minor and Eb major) for Baermann in 1811.  Among other composers who wrote concertos for him were Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer, Danzi and Lindpaintner.  Baermann himself also wrote extensively for the clarinet.