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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000695.txt from 1996/04

From: B HUDSON <XDPW41A@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: High school appropriateness (Re: Rab
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 1996 12:58:01 -0400

>>Regarding the Rabaud Solo de Concours:

>> This is an advanced piece that should be approached by an
>>advanced player, not in high school (yes, I'm sure there are a couple of
>>high school students in the US that are able to play this piece >>musically).

I'm probably a bit late on this topic. I recall deleting some early post
without careful reading. But I'm suddenly struck with a question of why
the clarinet or possibly wind instruments should be so different from
everybody else. Surely we've all attended high school level concerto
competitions in which violinist and cellist play some of the most difficult
repertoire for their instruments. And under my own roof I've watched my
then 7th grade son work up the fast movement to Beethoven's Moonlight
Sonata (2nd movement I think).

If the issue is attention to sound production and control of
articulations that are more subtle issues of technique than those faced by
a pianist (an obviously dubious position), are we going to claim a greater
difficulty for the clarinet than for say my wife's sophomore and junior
high school students playing the Saint-Saens or the Haydn C Major cello
concertos at regional competitoins?

My point isn't to take issue with whether or not a particular piece is
appropriate or should be mandatory for a particular level of high school
competition. Rather the comments got me thinking about what I perceive to
be a generally lower level of expected development amongst high school wind
players than would generally be the case for strings and piano. (I doubt
if this applies to the very best compared the very best, i.e. I'm sure I
would be equally astounded to hear the winners of the national competitions
and say the Baldwin Junior High regional winners. But every major market
produces a sizable crop of extremely accomplished piano and string players
who are still a major step under the national competition winners, and it's
their counterpart in the winds that I'm concerned with.) If my subjective
and somewhat nebulous perception is correct I assume that it's related to
students coming to private teachers later in the process, private teachers
being more oriented toward helping students achieve success in their band
environments than realizing the finest distinctions involved in playing
their instrument at a top level and less opportunity to hear the truly
great players and start distinguishing the differences beyond flashy
fingers and rapid passages and truly making music at an early age.

It's obvious that those students are the potential core of support for the
best playing in the future, and I suspect Raleigh, NC is no different than
most mid-sized would be cosmopolitan markets (the Charlotte symphony folds
while pro sports teams are added) in that that transfer into the audience
basically isn't taking place. I can tell you that I see the best pianist
and string players in the region at symphony concerts. And obviously I
could be missing them, but I willing to bet one of those drinks that Dan
Leeson has offered to buy me that the front stands of the local high school
clarinet sections are woefully under represented.

It seems to me that the question is how to bring the apprehension and
appreciation of the best playing to the young player as early as possible?

Any comments?

Bruce Hudson,

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