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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000433.txt from 1995/03

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Taking liberties on a low C bass
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 10:26:39 -0500

Linda asks about using the low notes of a low C bass on compositions
created before the time that this compass was available on bass

Linda, I once played the Rite of Spring with Robert Craft who was
Stravinsky's mentor and, at that time, Stravinsky was still alive. There
is a brief b.c. solo that is played all alone in that work just before
everything hits the fan. In the solo, the b.c. is headed down hill and
suddenly the melodic line goes up an octave.

I asked Craft if Stravinsky would object to the D (which is where the
octave break occurs and where
the solo is heading) to be played an octave lower and Craft indicated
to me that Stravinsky always asked contemporary b.c. players to take
it down the octave, In 1913, when the Rite was composed, that note
was not available and Stravinsky himself concluded, once the note was
available, that it should be played. However, he never changed the

On the other hand, that is exactly what I did at a recent performance
and I got my head handed to me by the conductor. "What they hell are
you doing?" I should have gotten the OK from Stravinsky in writing.

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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