Dame Thea King (clarinet), English Chamber Orchestra, Leopold Hager (conductor)
Franz Tausch was born in Heidelberg in 1762 and died in Berlin in 1817. He was one of the earliest of the great clarinet virtuosi. He was taught by his father, Jacob, from the age of six, and two years later became a junior member of the Mannheim orchestra, playing violin and clarinet. When he was only thirteen he joined his father as a full-time member of the orchestra. Mozart would probably have heard Tausch father and son playing in the orchestra when he visited Mannheim in 1777. But by the time he made his famous comment ‘Oh, if only we had clarinets! – you can’t believe what a beautiful effect a symphony with flutes, oboes and clarinets makes’ (letter to his father, 3 December 1778) the Tausches had moved with the court to Munich.