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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000966.txt from 1998/04

Subj: Re: wind instruments and circus tricks
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 19:19:30 -0400

On 04/17/98 08:48:34 you wrote:
>On Fri, 17 Apr 1998, Daniel A. Paprocki wrote:
>> By the way, what instruments can't circular breath? I know the
>> clarinet, sax, and oboe can. What about flute, bassoon, and brass
>> instruments?
>Trumpet players certainly can. What was the piece that Wynton Marsalis
>recorded with Eastman that seemed to go on forever without a breath?
>A version of Moto Perpetuo for trumpet perhaps?

I've also heard Marcus Belgrave circular breath on trumpet and flugelhorn. The first time I noticed this was in a performance of Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan". He played it VERY slowly, and managed to build up terrific tension on the sustained notes at the end of each phrase. Definitely not a circus trick in this instance.

Harry Carney, of the Duke Ellington Orchestra used circular breathing. Sometimes this was done as a trick (check out some of the versions of Sophisticated Lady, where HC holds a note, and Duke plays about a minute long piano cadenza.) He would also use it in long phrases at slow tempi.

I'm reasonably sure that Ellington clarinettist Jimmy Hamilton could also do it.

Merlin Williams
(A member of the Sax Ring!)

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