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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000136.txt from 1999/01

From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Beethoven Trios
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 00:10:15 -0500

Fred Jacobowitz observed:

<<<The balance was not so much an issue then. If you follow the development
of the three instruments, you'll find that both the piano and clarinet have
made HUGE strides in volume of sound produced, while people are STILL
playing on 1700-1800's celli, and that cello construction has
changed little in the intervening time. So now the balance problems are

This is not entirely true--Celli (and other string instruments) are now
typically strung with steel strings, which are a quantum louder and much
more strident than the gut strings in use in the 17th & 18th centuries.
Most period string instruments have had to be rebuilt in order to
accommodate the steel strings and the higher modern pitch--both of which
have added volume. My brother (an erstwhile violinist) has a lower-pitch
gut-strung violin that he uses for period performances; the difference in
timbre and sheer volume of sound is astounding.

<<<The only solution is to learn how to play softly and delicately like a
violinist and not fall into the trap so many clarinetists do of being a
loud, aggressive, orchestra-oriented wind player. It can be done. If you
listen to Charlie Neidich's recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, you'll
hear that kind of playing. >>>

Well, like a good violinist (i.e., not my brother) anyway. I agree that
playing like Charlie is an excellent idea. Because of his rather fantastic
technique on the showpieces, many people assume that he is not a sensitive
musician. I have heard enough of his playing to agree with Fred's
analysis--this guy's a stud.


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