Klarinet Archive - Posting 000483.txt from 1996/01
From: Josias Associates <josassoc@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: recordings of Jean-Jean etudes
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 19:53:08 -0500
Regarding Bill Fogle's inquiry about the Jeanjean Etudes, Jack
Dannenberg is quite correct about Frank Sabin having recorded them. Among
his recordings are performances of the three volumes comprising the "Etudes
Progressives and Melodiques" plus the volume containing his whole-tone
studies, "Modern Etudes. If my memory serves me correctly, he has also
recorded volumes of etudes by Perier and Baermann.
Although he had also recorded much of the standard literature in
non-commercial format, in my opinion his recordings of the etude
literature -- especially the Jeanjean etudes -- are what is unique about
his recorded collection. In that belief, about ten years ago, I
approached several publishers and recording companies while acting in
Sabin's behalf in an attempt to interest them in distributing the
recordings commercially to the clarinet teaching and student community.
Although the attempts at distribution were not successful,
that did not diminish my convictions about the value of the recordings.
Even though the recordings were made mostly by Sabin himself in his
modest studio in Arcadia, California, and not in a commercial recording
environment, I believe that his Jeanjean tapes (and others as well)
represent a treasure -- valuable not only as pedagogical tools, but
also as enjoyable proof of what an unaccompanied clarinetist can
accomplish all by himself/herself.
For those unfamiliar with Franklin Sabin's name, he was, for many
years, a world-class performer, who nominally preferred the anonymity of a
private teaching career to that of the concert stage. As examples of
rejected opportunities that must have driven friends and admirers to
distraction, he turned down a first-chair position in the Boston Symphony
Orchestra in 1943 and another one in the post-war San Francisco Symphony.
He played in Boston during the summer of 1943, which led to his
first-chair offer from Serge Koussevitsky, and he also played in
touring orchestras conducted by Leopold Stokowski.
He was Principal Clarinet of the Pasadena Symphony for many
years, where his former teacher, Kalman Bloch, and his daughter Michelle
Bloch (later Zukovsky) came to hear him play from time to time. He was
widely regarded as a clarinetist's clarinetist, and was one of
the few regional players not affiliated with a major orchestra that other
professionals went out of their way to hear.
Although he had told many people that he had grown acutely averse
to performing, the mere existence of his etude tapes -- most notably the
Jeanjean tapes -- was to me incontrovertible evidence that the man wanted to
be heard. And, except for the occasional mechanical noise of a push
button, the starting of a reel mechanism, or a less-than perfect splice
on a long and otherwise uninterrupted etude that had to be recorded
in two parts, the taped performances are superb.
At his age -- he is now 74 -- there is virtually no chance that,
save for his students, he will again be heard in performance. But, the
remarkable tapes of his Jeanjean, Perier, and Baermann recordings still
exist and deserve to be heard.
He can be reached at
the Franklin Sabin Clarinet Studio
38 East Huntington Drive
Arcadia, California 91006
If Bill Fogle or anyone else on the list has the opportunity to
hear the tapes or acquire a copy, I'd be interested in receiving
feedback from that person.
La Canada, California