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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000197.txt from 1995/01

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Mahler and the clarinet
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 07:42:28 -0500

One must also consider Mahler's use of the D clarinet as in, for
example, the fifth symphony.

You must also consider the impact on the clarinet of Mahler's frequent
requests for "Bells up." Last year we did a Mahler symphony, I forget
which one, that called for "Bells up" in the bass clarinet part, an
impossible request. It is true that he also calls for "Bells up" in
oboe writing too, and it would be interesting to characterize the
two instruments to see if the reed/mouthpiece differences had an
impact in how effectively or easily this is done.

I also notice that Mahler says "Bells up" but never says "Bells down."
So there is always the problem of trying to figure out when not to do
this thing. It is very dangerous because the instrument is so much
more likely to squeak in this position, and one cannot look at the

Finally, you have to come to grips with Mahler's use of the bass
clarinet in A. Why did he do this? Is the answer obvious? Are
there subtleties involved?

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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