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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000490.txt from 1999/01

From: "Fernando Silveira" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Leblanc Corp/T.Ridenour
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 09:21:32 -0500

Thank you Tom.
Is very good for me, and I believe for the entire list, to have you betwen
Be that way. Like my first clarinet teacher could say: "All good
professional will get their value".


-----Mensagem original-----
Data: Segunda-feira, 11 de Janeiro de 1999 23:43
Assunto: Re: [kl] Leblanc Corp/T.Ridenour

>Fernando wrote:
>You said that when we search for a
>>clarinet we only look for the "lable" and other things that don't make
>>effect with the feeling of play. I, unfurtunely, would like to disagree
>Of course, Fernando, not all players do. I don't think I said that. My
>point was , that many hope most of us don't look past a label and/or
>bring our intellects to bear on the matter of the specifics of clarinets or
>equipment selection.
>We, as clarinetists, are just as creative, inventive and spontaneous as
>great oboists, flutists and violinists. In the past, clarinets which play
>badly, are hard to control, have ugly areas of color and insecure
>response have kept many of us needlessly in the primitive area of
>technique all our clarinet playing lives. Such instruments have robbed us
>of musical inspiration, imagination and interpretation.
>If clarinetist are to be as musical and find the freedom of expression of
>other instrumentalists, clarinets must play with greater evenness,
>security and _inherent_ beauty of sound: just like great concert grand
>pianos. Then it is not wrestling with the instrument that is the issue,
>but wrestling with the loftier matters of interpretation and inspiration
>and moving into the transcendent area of art and beauty.
>In all my frustrations with technique and equipment, I, personally, have
>never lost this as a vision for myself as a player, and it is what I
>fought for when I was given the privilege to work for clarinetists in a
>larger sense.
>My whole insistence has been, "give us more perfect and better instruments,
>especially in the area of tone color and security of response, so we can
>apply correct and efficient pedagogy with greater confidence, free us from
>technical worry so the musician can be released from within us".
>If we think that clarinets have already been brought to degree of
>perfection of pianos, flutes and violins I think we are not being honest
>with ourselves.
>What are we afraid of? Having to spend a few bucks for something better?
>Actually having the hope of improvement? Sometimes hope is a frightening,
>troublesome thing, because implicit in hope is renewed committment and
>I have actually known players who resented finding a better instrument
>because it meant they might actually have to invest something monitarily
>speaking into their art. I have seen players angry at me because I
>presented them with something that was in improvement over what they had.
>Go figure!?
> But that is another matter.
> Our playing, in any case, must adapt and conform to the equipment.
>The more perfect it is the greater our technical ease and execution, and
>the more we can freely express ourselves as other artists do. This, to me,
>is the point......the whole point, and it is what my whole work has been
>about ever since I stopped blaming myself for every problem and defect, and
>ceased playing the clarinet in the comotose, "this is what every body else
>does" status quo condition of my youth.
>Manufacturers will not voluntarily make more perfect instruments. We must
>thoughtfully and reasonably demand that they do; and be clear about the
>problems and defects of the instruments they presently produce; not to be
>critical, but to be constructive.
>One representative from one of the makers recently exclaimed to me, "How do
>we know what to make next unless players tell us what they want?"
>Point well made!
>As long as we silently accept and purchase the status quo that is what
>they will produce; they will continue to make money and we will continue
>to struggle with the same old same old.
>Over the years I have tried to encourage players to think thoughfully and
>even systematically about clarinets and to bring to their attention
>certain elements of the clarinet's playing characteristics which need not
>be as they have been; we don't have to put up with these problems which
>commonly dog us.
>Some of the newer clarinets which have come out prove that for sure. The
>Signature is one....but not the only one; the Leblancs prove that as well.
>The more perfect the clarinet is, the more perfect and free we can be.
>Perfect clarinets and equipment, of course, do not substitute for correct
>playing, but facilitate it.
>What a happy and joyous moment it is when you play a clarinet that you can
>depend upon and have mouthpiece/reed equipment you don't have to struggle
>It makes the clarinet playing experience the fun and freedom it ouight to
>The best is yet to come! We, as clarinetists, have a lot to look forward
>Fernando continued:
>>You know that the top line of clarinets in any big company is the more
>>expensive product and the marketing on it is very big, How can we get the
>>information if all that we have is marketing (i.e. bussiness)? For the
>>company we are the objective of them. They must have to sell!! No matter
>>the clarinet is on the taste of the buyer or not. If one of my students
>>with an Opus and can't play it well he/she, probably, will think that the
>>problem is with him, like Larry Combs plays on it is marketing
>>we must have to change it.
>>I know that the Signature clarinet is very, very good horn. I've tryied it
>>last september.Is one of the best clarinet I've tryied but the problem is
>>that we can't trust on all we hear. It isn't only in music, but in life at
>>all. You must have to play on it to say that it is good.
>Fernando, I think you are right. The only alternative to trusting "spin"
>and the "blah, blah, blah" of advertising is to improve the elements of our
>own playing and educate ourselves. This takes time , effort and the
>assimilating and ordering of knowledge. In short, we must become correctly
>educated. Many simply don't have the patience for this....some don't even
>think it is possible; they believe there is no real correctness, only
>To use a seldom heard phrase nowadays; they simply are wrong.
>If you will check on my web site (and I am sure there are others), you will
>find large sections devoted to education and sharing of information on all
>aspects of playing. I only wish I had more time to build up that area of
>my site.
>There is no substitute for the process of growth in education.
>Thought must preceed action. So many of us are suspicious of thought; we
>are fatalists. I've had teachers who were like that, and they were very
>disheartening to work with. They think that you either have it or you
>don't; that you can't really transcend your limitations and actually
>Well, you can't get out what God ain't put in; it is true, there is only
>one Ricardo and so on, but correctly thinking and applying knowledge can
>help each of us make enormous improvements upon the gifts God has given
>us; and with those improvement come an increased confidence in our ability
>to discern and judge for ourselves and not be lead around by labels and the
>status quo.
>The clarinet is the best of the wind instruments.
>In my estimation, development-wise, the clarinet is somewhere in late
>adolescence at this point. It and its proponents deserve it being brought
>to acoustical perfection. That will not happen unless we thoughtfully and
>reasonably insist upon it. After all, all we are asking is what has
>_already_ been done for other instruments.
>Thank you for your kind comments. I am sure most on the list will agree
>that your English is at least as good as, and considerably more agreeable
>than mine;-)
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