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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000011.txt from 1995/01

From: Bruce Hudson <HUDSONB@-----.COM>
Subj: more stoltz etc.
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 1995 11:10:16 -0500

Dan and Elaine-
Well maybe there's a role for the adult beginner after all. (I
figured it was just the beginner who wanted to see of a discussion
of the "grand" topics, and that the pros would rather discuss
reeds-- not to mention cup holders.) Here's a point if find a
touch interesting: my wife's a professional cellist, Interlocken
background and three professional musician sisters-- one living out
a series of one year contracts as a violist in the NY Phil (viola)
(always the first runner-up in auditions) and one in the pit with
the Chicago Opera company (violin). The point is that these are
people with highly sophisticated musical backgrounds. But I've got
news for you- there isn't an opinion amongst them of any clarinet
player in any of their respective orchestras, and it seems my
wife's most common exclamation since I began slogging my way though
the Klose book and buying CD's is how much she's learned to hear
the instrument.

Believe it or not this remains to the point. I saw Stoltzman in
probably 1976 or so at a performance at UT (Texas). And I thought
it was incredible. There was drama in the instrument I couldn't
even have imagined (and I'm old enough, 51, that I saw Goodman's
life story-- the Steve Allen movie-- when it came out, and at the
age of 17 or so had several vinyl Shaw and Goodman LP's). So when
I got the crazy idea that I was going to learn to play at this
advanced I went immediately at my local CD store and ordered lots
of SToltzman-- that was before my first lesson.

Two things happened: 1) my teacher is from Philadelphia and his
only teachers have been first the senior Gigliotti, and following
his retirement, his son; one of the results being that Mike
possesses a tremendous sound and he gave a recital shortly after my
first lesson. 2) at my second lesson on remarking on the evenness
and fullness of his sound throughout the range of the insturment he
sent me home with Shifrin and Harold WRight recordings. And in the
meantime the SToltzman CD's starting coming in. Fortunately my
local store accepts returns.

Who knows what's happened since 1974, but my inspiration now seemed
intensely self-indulgent, superficial, and relatively speaking,
simply not in control of the quality of sound as he brought it
through those huge sweeping dynamic changes he frequently subjected
it to.

Now that's my two cent's worth towards having opinions-- but the
broader issue I initially sought to introduce is the issue of the
specialized listening that so quickly develops in conjunction with
any instrument. The specialized members of my family are now very
clear on what they like about Shifrin, and in fact they hold the
whole business of the clarinet in much higher esteem then they did
previously. I even get reports of how beautiful a certain clarinet
part sounded within a given orchestra performance with a ready
admission that the part hadn't even been noticed previously.

I don't think there's much more to say from my point of view;
however, it seems a odd and somehow intolerable situation when
trained sophisticated musicians have so little listening
involvement outside their own immediate family of instruments.
How can anything be expected of the general public.

(Also if I can bring up one more issue before closing, I mentioned
Sabine Meyer in my initial comments about Stoltzman and Shifrin,
but there was no further comment. To she is unequivocally one of
truly musical performers with one of the most beautiful tones of
any instrument I have every heard. I'm curious if it is the
professional's opinion here on the bb that to some extent the
nature of her sound isn't particular to the German style instrument
she plays-- and of course that's just an assumption on my part
based on her background.)

Bruce Hudson
Raleigh, NC (Intensely enthusiastic 51 year old beginner.)

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