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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000734.txt from 1998/03

Subj: Re: Re: Ricardo Morales -Nielsen
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 00:16:12 -0500

> Is that the Clarfest 1992 in Cincinatti performance? It was great!!!!!!!
> ("one-take" too)
Neil wrote:
By default a one-take and, yes, it is the very one. A bootleg
recording, if you will. Here's the educational part about this:
The quality of the dub is poor, and his tone is fair-to-crappy,
and yet it's impossible not to sit there with your jaw wide open
at the music that he makes. It really brings into sharp relief
the issue of whether somebody is merely a practitioner, or a
true musician. Ricardo could play on a stock Buffet mouth-
piece and a student model Artley and still send chills up
your spine with the music that he makes.

The fact is that Ricardo played the Nielsen on a stock, uncustomized Leblanc
Opus A clarinet which he had taken from the Leblanc display less than 18 hours
prior to his performance. He has exchanged it for a Concerto A clarinet he
had been playing in Florida. This is not a second hand story. I saw him do
this myself.

Neil wrote further:
I remember his
opening recital at ClarinetFest '95 in Arizona. I wasn't
even mildly thrilled with the quality of his tone, but his
musicianship is so Herculean, it was all I could think about.

I really have to take Issue with you , Neil, about Ricardo's tone. It is a
very lovely sound, very well centered, even and dark, a virtually faultless
legato and coloristically and dynamically he seems to have terrific control.
Of course, we all have different ideas about tone. But focus, control and
evenness throughout mean a lot to me.
Eric Simon once said something which I think is truly profound concerning
tone. He said, "The function of tone is phrasing."
Most of us go after tone as a thing in itself. We think, "If I can just get
that golden SOUND I will be a great clarinet player." Ergo, we obscess about
timbre as if it were the whole of music.
But Mr. Simon seems to be saying something that might be rephrased
aphoristically into the old bromide, "Beauty is a beauty does."
If that is the criteria I think Ricardo has a superb tone indeed........for it
does a lot and is truly the servant of and subserviant to the phrasing of the
music in all its' subtlety and nuance.

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