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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000064.txt from 1995/03

From: ELAINE THOMPSON <eethomp@-----.EDU>
Subj: E-fer
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 1995 20:32:09 -0500

Ah, the little Eb clarinet. Kind of like a combination of tightrope
walking and bungee jumping in the middle of an orchestra. Makes french
horn look easy. I do not recommend it as an instrument for shy people as
all of your mistakes are usually loud and out of tune! Since I'm not shy,
I play it at least a couple of times a year. Most recent was the New
England Triptich. The orchestral version of "Chester" is quick, high, and
fun. I also played the Eb parts in Britten's "Four Sea Interludes"
recently. Most demanding part I've done was Shostokovich (sp?) 5. It has
a wonderful Eb part.

My first experience with the instrument parallels some other fright
stories. I had just started music school at Indiana and got my orchestral
assignment. I had to walk into my first college orchestra rehearsal ever
and play Eb clarinet on Hindemith's "Kammermusik no. 4," a viola concerto.
Talk about scary. Hindemith can be tough enough, let alone when it is the
first time you're playing Eb clarinet on a piece you've never heard before
and a part you hadn't seen until that afternoon. I toughed it out, and
actually surprised the conductor because I played the little squeaker
pretty close to in tune.

My biggest hint for new players is to just work with a tuner and a
keyboard to really know how the part sounds. I can usually play Eb right
in tune if I can internally hear what the part should sound like.

Elaine Thompson "Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less travelled by,
Johns Hopkins Univ. And it has made all the difference."
--Robert Frost

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