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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000652.txt from 1996/01

From: jay eric niepoetter <niep@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Stravinsky
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 21:44:40 -0500

Ok, here's the story I've always heard about the Three Pieces...

Stravinksy was very intrigued with jazz and around the 1920's he went to a
night club one evening to listen to a hot young clarinetist. He got to the
club too early and had to see the opening act. The opening act
was a husband and wife singing duo. This singing duo is represented by the
first mov't. The husband sings the low stuff and the wife sings most of the
throat tone notes. If you follow the part you can (with a little
imagination) hear the two singing back and forth to teach other. It
helps explain why there are so many strange breath marks. Most of the
time it marks where one singer takes over from the other. Finally they
both sing the last to bars together (loudly) for the big finish.

Stravinsky decides he doesn't have to go to the bathroom during the
intermission. He is very excited about hearing this clarinetest that he
doesn't want to lose his seat! He is close enough to the stage to hear
this incredible clarinetist warming up backstage. His warm up is
represented by the second mov't. A few choice and well practiced "licks"
- check out some high notes for response - check out some low notes -
big dynamic changes. Stravinsky can't figure out how to notate the
clarinetist's "warm up", so he decides not to use bar lines. Of the
mov'ts we probably play this one the most free. In the middle of a
"lick" someone shouts that is time to go on - hence the abrupt ending.

Stravinsky LOVED the guy and had a great time all evening. He wanted to
remember the night forever and penned the Three Pieces. The last mov't
was an actual solo that the clarinetist played in one of the tunes.
Stravinsky was not familiar enough with jazz to realize how much of it is
improvisational. In his head he heard the accents and stuff to be
strange meter changes.



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