Klarinet Archive - Posting 000485.txt from 1995/01
Subj: Re: On criticism and the matter of the Three Queens
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 15:55:44 -0500
What came to mind for me in the course of the postings on "The Three Queens"
(and also the Shiffrin/Stolzman debate) was my experience at my first ICS
conference in 1986 in Seattle. There, we heard many (many many many) different
clarinetists, with their correspondingly many (many many many) different 'kinds'
of playing, approach, musical expressions etc etc.
_ALL_ artists were given the courtesy of acceptance of their offerings - no one
stood up and said, "You STINK, your articulations are BAD and I hate your
clothes" ("and your fans and your first-born children...")! Certainly, over the
course of the conference, there were discussions about performances and there
were even opportunities to discuss with individual players their approach or
techniques or whatever...
What I'm trying to say, I suppose, is that I was amazed at the whole RANGE of
clarinetistry (!) at the conference - that one person's "bad tone" was what
another person might (yes, might!) aspire to. The notion has occured to me
whilst subscribing to this list on more than one occasion, that we lack
common/shared technical terminology to back up our opinions (and sometimes the
will to be precise and objective...). And sometimes (to get back to Dan's
posting), we don't actually have a well-articulated hypothesis to work from.
Artists, after all, reserve the right to work on an intuitive level!
My suggested experiment (vis a vis the 'dark' sound discussion a ways back),
would be that we (who have them) listen to various designated recordings and
find agreement on terminology to describe them (or at least use as 'benchmarks'
of a common set of 'clarinet values'.) [fer instance, we could use the
Marcellus/Cleveland/Szell Mozart 622 as _a_ definitive recording (for heaven's
sake, not _the_ definitive recording!)].
What the "Three Queens" discussion _did_ do for me was to have me go and listen
to my Emma Johnson recording, and I was satisfied to have my own opinion about
why she remains in my collection alongside the recordings I play more often...
'nuff babbling for now...
Walter K. Quan
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