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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000781.txt from 1996/04

From: David Ross <dross@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Denner D clarinet
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 15:45:03 -0400

Four of the Molter Concerti for D-clarinet are published in both score form
and with keyboard reductions by Breitkopf & Hartel. A fifth is available in
score format only from Carus, while a sixth is to my knowledge still
unpublished, though a American DMA thesis (Lanning) does have a ms score

Having performed the Molter concerti on Baroque instruments, I can perhaps
add that while these Molter works are possible on Denner clarinets, playing
them on instruments from the next generation of instrument makers (such as
those by Scherer) considerably eases the task as well as making more sense
historically. Also, on the Baroque clarinets I have made I have added
double holes at the bottom end of the finger hole section to accomodate
some of Molter's chromatics.

Since the Baroque clarinet repertory is quite small, I have broadened it at
times by using Baroque pieces originally written for the Baroque trumpet
(ie trumpet obligatos with voice, certain sinfonias and solo works). Not
only do these pieces often work very well for a 2-key Baroque clarinet (in
either D or C), but there seems to be a gradually increasing body of
evidence suggesting that one of the functions of the early (Baroque)
clarinet was to serve as an occasional substitute for the true clarino of
the Baroque period.

Finally, while Brymer's book on the clarinet provides some useful insights
on the historical development of the clarinet (and I am somewhat reluctant
to criticize one of my former clarinet teachers!), his discussion of the
relationship between the chalumeau and early clarinet is quite simplistic
and does not take into account the quite different musical and technical
functions of these two instruments. More recent scholarship can be found in
English in newer books such as those by Colin Lawson, Al Rice, my own
disertation on early eighteenth century clarinets, and to a lesser extent
several brand new books on the clarinet: "The Cambridge Companion to the
Clarinet" (ed. Lawson) and Kurt Birsak's book "The Clarinet: A Cultural
History." There have also been several articles in German which address the
still somewhat clouded history of the chalumeau and Baroque clarinet and
the relationship between the two.

David Ross

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