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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000605.txt from 1997/09

From: Fred Jacobowitz <>
Subj: Re: Brahms, etc.
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 02:30:39 -0400

do anything with the sound nowadays. With all due respect to Mr. Pay, who
I greatly admire, if he could always be heard, even in the chalumeau, and
"was never smothered by the'cello" (I fing it difficult to believe that
ANYONE could ever be smothered by a cello) then he was playing just too
loud. Either that or the mike placement was unfortunate. This piece is NOT
a mini-concerto a la Weber. It is chamber music in the truest of senses -
all voices are equal and most do NOT have the melody. When they don't they
should be part of the texture and not heard distinctly. So, if Mr. Pay was
not often part of the texture and out of the way of both the melody and
countermelody, he was playing the piece wrong.

Fred Jacobowitz
Clarinet/Sax Instructor, Peabody Preparatory

On Thu, 11 Sep 1997, Roger Shilcock wrote:

> A couple of evenings ago, the BBC Promenade concert included a performance
> of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet by Hausmusik with Anthony Pay playing an
> alleged replica of Muhlfeld's clarinet. I heard the broadcast, which
> obviously made some difference, but what struck me was that Anthony Pay
> sounded more or less as he generally does, with perhaps a bit of
> unevenness
> of tone - Pay on an instrument borrowed in a hurry, maybe. There wasn't
> much sign of Muhlfeld's reported vibrato. However, what *was* unusual
> (compared with most recordings I've heard, at least) was that the
> chalumeau notes were always audible and practically never smothered by the
> cello, and the attack he obtained was extremely emphatic, making the
> phrasing especially clear. Is this last characteristic a common property
> of late nineteenth-century non-Boehm clarinets?
> Incidentally, the strings *did* use vibrato, though not a lot.
> The Albert Hall acoustics would have affected the sound of course - they
> can be modified these days, I believe, but it's still a bit of a cavern
> to play chamber music in.
> Roger Shilcock

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