Bernhard Henrik Crusell (born October 15, 1775 in Nystad, Finland, † July 28, 1838 in Stockholm) was a Finnish clarinetist and composer.
At the age of 12 he became a clarinetist in a military band in Sveaborg. He later moved to Stockholm, where he became court musician in 1793. After a stay in Berlin, where he was tutored by Franz Tausch, he studied clarinet and composition at the Paris Conservatory in 1803. a. at Abbé Vogler and Gossec. After his return to the court orchestra in Stockholm, he made it there in 1818 as musical director of the two royal body grenadier regiments.
Crusell was an excellent clarinet soloist. He also translated the librettos of numerous operas into Swedish. His very virtuoso compositions – mostly with or for the clarinet – are widely appreciated to this day, not least thanks to the commitment of the clarinetists Jost Michaels and Dieter Klöcker to Crusell’s work. The compositions are committed to an early romantic sound ideal, full of original thematic ideas and bring Crusell’s style closer to Weber.
Crusell wrote clarinet concerts, a Sinfonia concertante for clarinet, horn, bassoon and orchestra, quartets for clarinet with string instruments, clarinet duos, a quintet for oboe and string quartet, but also the opera Lilla Slafvinnan (Little Slave Girl), as well as plays and songs.
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