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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000444.txt from 1994/05

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Clarinet and M*A*S*H
Date: Sun, 29 May 1994 20:56:55 -0400

A comment was made about the final episode of M*A*S*H where an important
part of the plot was the use of an oriental band that learned how to play
the Mozart K. 581. I cannot be absolutely certain, but I think that that
idea must have come from Alan Alda.

Alan's wife, Arlene Weiss Alda, was formerly 1st clarinet in Houston a
number of years ago. She was a first class pro and I use the word "was"
because she no longer plays. We used to play chamber music together and
it was always a great pleasure to work with her, so professional was she.

When Alan first began to act years and years ago and was having difficulty
making a living before his first big hit, Arlene taught clarinet to hold
the family finances together. One of Arlene's favorite pieces (and
therefore heard many times by Alan) was the K. 581, so I suspect that
that is where the matter came from.

When we used to play chamber music in NY, my wife and I would pick up
Alan and Arlene in NJ (they lived near us) and drive to NY. Alan was
desperately needed to carry the music and the music stands. Whenever
we played he was always there enjoying the music emmensely, and someone
would always say, "Has anyone ever told you that you look just like
Alan Alda?" to which he invariably replied, "No. You're the first to
think that."

When I gave a chamber music concert in NY with a number of colleagues
(and we did the Beethoven Septet, Berwald Septet, and Spohr Octet),
Alan came and boy, did that create excitement. No one asked me for
my autograph after the concert, but they sure asked Alan for his.

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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