Klarinet Archive - Posting 000276.txt from 1998/03
From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.edu>
Subj: Welcome back, Dan!!! Glad to see you.
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 14:42:19 -0500
Gee thanks, Dan. It is good to see how one is missed. Travelling
on I40 across Northern Arizona and New Mexico, thousands of clarinet
players stood by the side of the road as I drove by, throwing rocks
and mud balls. Signs reading, "There really IS a dark sound, idiot!!"
I ate at 371 Denny restaurants and each one had a local person who
played clarinet and tried to poison me. (Incidentally, Bob Levin,
who I saw in Amarillo, told me that the pianist Menachem Pressler
eats only at Denny's when he is on the road. He says that the
food is consistent. Can't argue that one.)
Then I got to Amarillo and heard a splendid clarinet section of
the Amarillo Symphony. I do not have their names, but the first
player was the instructor at West Texas A&M. Beautiful sound.
Melifluous playing. A joy to hear him.
What was absolutely amazing was that Gail Williams, assistant
1st horn of the Chicago Symphony, was there to play the Mozart
4th horn concerto and we stayed in the same hotel. So naturally
my wife and I had dinner with her almost each night, and she and
I would eat breakfast in the a.m. It was not until three days went
by of me telling her how much I enjoyed the playing of the Chicago
Symphony's Larry Combs did I find out that she was Mrs. Larry
Combs. And Gail indicated that Hogwood had recently done K. 622
with Chicago and Larry played it with Hogwood saying, with respect
to the slow movement, "But you must improvise!" I didn't make
By the way, she also said that Larry was playing Wurlitzer's in a
German system, though he switches back to his Boehm system
After Amarillo, I went to El Paso where I met Don Ross and gave
a master class for his students. The best part was that there
were singers, flutists, oboeists, etc. at the class. So I spoke
on broad issues, beat up two students, was given three proposals
of marriage and at enough bar-b-que to sink a ship.
And the faculty and students from the Univ. NM at Las Cruces came
in too. It was a nice group.
Finally, off to Tucson were I did another master class for
Jerry Kirkbride. Nice students but too quiet. If someone had
come in when I was a student and told me what I told them, I would
have set him, the room, the building, and maybe the whole damn
school on fire.
And I met Jacqueline from Tucson who told me she is going to do
the 3rd clarinet part in the Ring next summer. Dynamite.
Nice trip. Good to be home.
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California
Rosanne Leeson, Los Altos, California