André Messager (1853-1929) composed Solo de Concours for Clarinet in 1899, as a Paris Conservatoire Contest piece.
Composed in three sections, the cheerful first part contains triplet figures by the Clarinet that can easily be heard over the Orchestra. The second part has a strong French melody that can be heard as an exchange between the Clarinet and the Orchestra. A cadenza followed by trills ends this section and leads to the final part, where the Clarinet stands out from the Orchestra, with a rich melodic energy.
André Messager is a previous student of Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns who wrote numerous operas, operettas and ballets. He was later appointed Commander of the Legion d’Honneur.