Klarinet Archive - Posting 000731.txt from 1995/03
From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: making changes when playing bass clarinet music
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 08:14:11 -0500
A couple of weeks ago the subject of revising bass clarinet parts to
take advantage of the the low notes came up. This is an addendum to
Placido Domingo is giving a concert here Sunday night and I'm playing
the gig. He is doing an aria (actually a duet) from Othello of Verdi.
It the the duet that ends act 1. In that duet, the bass clarinet has
some very lovely solo arpreggios to play, three in fact.
The first one starts on a low f. The second one is the same as the
first except it is a half tone lower, thus starting on low e. The
third and final one is another half-step down which should cause it
to begin on a low E-flat.
But Verdi either did not have a player with that note or else it was
not around at that time because here he breaks the argpeggio, beginning
the E-flat an octave highter and than jumping downward to continue
I took one look at that and said, "E-flat!!! You are going down an
octave, so don't argue." The I went and discussed the matter with
the conductor who looked at me as if I were General Grant reporting
the surrender of General Lee at Appomatox. He said "You mean you have
such a note on your bass clarinet?"
I intended to get every ounce of flesh out of this one.
"Have it?," said I. "You can count on me sir to find a way even if
I have have to put a tube in my instrument."
Of course I had no intentions of using a tube. I have the note.
Everybody has the note. But the conductor did not know that. He
thought I was better than Wonder Bread to have such a note. I was
going to do nothing to have him change his mind.
And when I played the solo at rehearsal, I thought he would die of
pleasure. He never heard the whole arpeggios starting from the
bottom for all three presentations, each going down 1/2 tone from
I may be made king shortly! I'd rather just have a doubling fee
if it is OK with him.
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California