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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000051.txt from 1999/01

From: "Edwin V. Lacy" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] bassoon+Clarinet gig.
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 22:52:39 -0500

On Sat, 2 Jan 1999, Scott Splater wrote:

> I've heard there's a great clarinet-bassoon duet by Poulenc. I don't
> know if it qualifies as sacred, but in my opinion all good music is
> divine, and a gift from God. That's one of the nice things about not
> having words -- it's more flexible!

Since I just posted concerning my misgivings regarding the Beethoven
clarinet/bassoon duets, I might as well go ahead and tell why I wouldn't
play the Poulenc in church. As you say, it is a great work. However,
there are problems. The outer movements are very technically demanding,
very athletic, and not as melodic as some of Poulenc's other works. The
slow movement is one of the most demanding works in existence as far as
endurance is concerned. There is no way to play it without very much
obvious straining, panting, turning red in the fact, perspiring, etc.
This spectacle is always distracting to an audience, even in a concert
hall, and probably much more so in a church service.

Having said what I would not do in such a circumstance, I guess I should
say what I would do. Is there an organist available? If so, I would look
for any good Baroque trio sonata. Let the bassoon play the bass clef
part, the organist play the harmonic structure, and transpose the treble
part for the clarinet. There are many works of this sort available, and
several of them should serve your purpose very well. The slow movements
in particular, while not overtly religious, tend to be at least

Ed Lacy

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