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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000585.txt from 1995/03

From: Neil Leupold <Neil_Leupold@-----.COM>
Subj: Adjustment for context?
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 1995 15:30:53 -0500

Reply to: Adjustment for context?
Many times we've had a discussion on the subject of those players who have air
leaks and qualities of sound which seem stuffy or unfocused up close, but whose
sound suddenly blossoms and is full and flawlessly gorgeous within the environs
of a live concert hall. I've been told many times by my teacher that an
adjustment to the environment is absolutely crucial, especially with respect to
auditions. As an example, when the San Francisco Symphony holds auditions for
an open chair, the candidates never know whether their personal audition is
going to occur on the Davies Symphony Hall concert stage, in the musician's
lounge downstairs in the basement, or elsewhere again. He (Don Carroll) has
said that if you perform on the reverberant concert hall stage with a chamber
music setup, it will be received less favorably than if you had adapted to the
context and performed with a sound more conducive to the environment, by
altering your setup (namely the reed). The same is true if the audition
location was changed and one was directed to perform in the musician's lounge,
which is a smaller and more insulated environment with far less reverberation.

Given the above information, I find myself wondering if all clarinetists who
are successful in both orchestral and chamber music situations have, by
necessity, dual identities with respect to the quality of sound they produce.
Does the successful player in these disparate environments adopt a different
sound for each context? I get the feeling it is unavoidable, although the
testimony to Franklin Cohen's latest live performance seems to debunk the
notion, while simultaneously supporting the arguments about the sound being
different depending on the context and environment. I've heard Franklin
Cohen's recording of the Brahms sonatas, and his air leaks and physical sounds
are very distracting and unmusical in my opinion. And yet, two people have
recently stated on this list that his live performance on stage was phenomenal.
It sounds like he recorded the sonatas using the same sound he uses on stage,
where the environment of a recording studio reveals every click, pop, and hiss
which one does not hear when he's on stage.

Does Karl Leister play differently in the recording studio/context than he does
at the Berliner Philharmonie? I've always considered the quality of my sound
to be one of the most important components of my musical identity. It seems
that some experimentation is in order to determine if I'll need to create an
alter-ego, as it were, to fit the occasion - be it an orchestral concert, an
intimate chamber recital, or an outdoor dixieland jam.

Others' thoughts on the subject?


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