The modern Wagnerian conductor is apt to complain that Beethoven, in his four-bar phrase, drowns a melody which lies in the weakest register of the clarinet by a crowd of superfluous notes in oboes, horns and flutes.
The following is Bach's fullest orchestra: the string-band, consisting (as at the present day) of violins in two parts, violas, violoncellos, doubled (where the contrary is not indicated) by double basses; the wind instruments (generally one to each part, as the string-band was never large)-2 flutes, 2 or 3 oboes, or oboe d'amore (a lower-pitched and gentler type), taille or oboe da caccia (some kind of alto oboe corresponding to the cor anglais), bassoon, generally doubling the string basses, 2 horns, with parts needing much greater practice in high notes than is customary to-day, 3 (occasionally 4) trumpets, of which at least the first 2 were played by players especially trained to produce much higher notes than are compatible with the power to produce the lower notes (the high players were called Clarin-Blaser; and the others Principal-Blaser); a pair of kettle-drums, tuned to the tonic and dominant of the piece.
He does not seem to have found any English trumpeters capable of playing as high parts as those of the German Clarin-Bldser, and his plan seems generally to get as many oboes and bassoons as could be procured to double the top and bottom of his string-band.
- Mozart's full symphonic scheme requires the string-band, I flute (rarely 2), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (whenever he could obtain them, he being the first composer who really appreciated them, instead of regarding them either as cheap substitutes for the clarino or high trumpet of Bach, or, like Gluck and, with rare and late exceptions, Haydn, as merely adding to the force of tutti passages).
5 3 oboes and cor anglais, or 4th oboe.
This scheme, with the addition of a pair of trumpets and drums and, occasionally, oboes, forms the normal orchestra of 18th-century Masses developed or degenerated from this model.