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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000066.txt from 1996/01

From: B HUDSON <XDPW41A@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: kell and stoltzman
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 23:48:33 -0500

Well Vincent deLuise MD, hopefully I'm missing the ironic humor of this
absolutist declaration:

>I am a physician and serious amateur clarinetist. I have played for
>34 years, a Buffet R-13, with a vandoren 4 reed and Borbeck
>mouthpiece. I have heard them all, and, with the exception of Harold
>Wright and Charlie Neidich, Richard Stoltzman is the most prominent
>and elegant clarinetist of this generation.

We certainly all have a right to our opinions and to the degree that such
opinions are argued on points of substance, a debate over opinions affords
an obvious opportunity to learn regardless of the effect of such a
discussion on our opinions. But surely when a great number, arguably the
majority, of the ranks of professional clarinetists find Stoltzman's
frequent failure to sustain tone, his biting vibrato which hopelessly
distorts pitch and his lavish interpretations downright objectionable we
don't have look to the medical profession for pronouncements of his superiority.

Christmas netted two renditions of the Brhams trio: Stoltzman, Ma and AX
and Thea King with the Gabrieli Quartet. Since the other adult in my
household is a professional cellist there's no doubting where the bias was
going to come down. However, the opinion of two principal string players
in strong second tier professional orchestra and my own slightly less than
humble non-professional ear, Stoltzsman's mangling of tone with that
vibrato that bites and distorts pitch and his complete failure to control
and focus tone resulted in my collection being increased by the Thea King
recording, and my friendly neighborhood CD store restocking the headliners.
I can't support it because, 1) I've returned the CD, and 2) it would
require the volunteer reassembling of professional musicians who really
could care less what the general listening and clarinet playing public
thinks of "Dick." But I can tell you that after the fist movement of the
Trio, my wife and her associates got out the score for their own
entertainment and clicked off the points at which musically elegant Dick
simply failed to continue sustaining a sound or got so carried away that
the line of the piece was disturbingly distorted.

I'm certainly not arguing against anybody else's right to prefer the
SToltzman recording (however I would like to know how the specific points
in the recording I'm objecting to were reconciled). But to unambiguously
declare "Dick" the most prominent (well yes, that, maybe-- is that like a
rock star?) and elegant clarinetist of this generation is a direct offense
to the many major player of our generation. Since I've heard both
Stoltzman and Ricardo Morales in person I really have to go no further than
than to draw a contrast.

Bruce Hudson,

Raleigh, NC

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