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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000631.txt from 1999/01

From: "Karl Krelove" <kkrelove@-----.com>
Subj: Re: [kl] Mahler 5/last mvmt solo
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 14:16:04 -0500

Martin,

You don't seem to have gotten much response to this post so far. I was
hoping some of the full time players who've done this with major conductors
would check in, but I'll make an effort.

Make sure you can play it first legato (slurred). You might think of the
three staccato eighth notes (a-d-e-) as pickups to the high f, so when you
practice legato, tongue the A so you do it in two slurs instead of one. Keep
your embouchure basically steady and in a position that will produce the
upper notes cleanly - don't count on adjusting on the way up. When you add
the tongue, phrase it the same way (three pickups toward the high F - this
isn't Mozart) and don't tongue hard. The tongue needs to be precise and
correctly placed on the reed, but no hammer staccato, or you produce all
kinds of squeaks and dropouts. The important thing is that the air and the
embouchure remain steady and that no panic gets into the process as you go
up. Practice in rhythm but slowly until you can do it without adding
tension.

Regarding "Schalltrichter auf...," my general reaction is to wait for the
conductor to remind me, then HE can tell ME when to put the bell back down.
If he doesn't care, I'd just as soon keep my eyes on the music. There's
always someone, usually the first oboist, who starts trouble by lifting up
his/her bell just because it says so in the part.
If you do put the bells up, though, it seems to me they should remain up
until your part isn't a focus of attention any more. For example, in the
first movement at #8, the upper woodwinds line is set against all the string
scrambling and needs to be prominent until 8 before #9, when the Violin 2,
Viola, and Cello join in. The little passage in Movement 2 after #3 is only
the 2 bars. At #28 (still Movement 2) if you're gonna do it - the violins
are doubling you FF, the horns and trombones are playing the same thing at
different octaves, so I'm not sure what the point is - it seems pretty
clear from the score that the bells should come down for the trill 9
measures later.
If the conductor wants the bells up, he should be the one to decide when
to bring them back down. I've played for only a few conductors who cared,
and most were content to have the bells up for only a couple of measures
just so the initial entrance was marked. I'd be curious to know what others
know or think about "bells up" in Mahler. It always seemed to me to be more
a visual than a musical effect.

Karl Krelove

----- Original Message -----
From: Martin Pergler <pergler@-----.edu>
Subject: [kl] Mahler 5/last mvmt solo

>
>Hi all...our university orchestra is playing Mahler 5 later this
>quarter. I'm having trouble with the 1st clar solo at the beginning
>of the last movement. A simple quarter note legato melody which
>"innocently" becomes staccato eigths (above the staff) DADE F D C A
>...at the end. Can anyone help?
>
>The difficulty is this. If I play the whole thing, I often get the
>wrong harmonics (with the right fingerings) on the staccato DADEF.
>If I isolate the DADEF, it's fine. I can be safer on the whole thing
>if I (feel that I) pinch more and toungue "harder", but then the
>whole thing is far too shrill and that shouldn't be the right answer
>anyway. It seems to me I must doing something with my embouchure or
>tongue on the legato bit which I shouldn't be, but I can't figure
>out what. Any suggestions/hints?
>
>Also, esp. in 1st movement, "bells up" is clear, but where do bells
>go back down? In some cases the sensible answer seems to be "at the
>end of the big honking phrase", but sometimes there is
>"Schalltriller auf" written twice in quick succession, or the
>musical phrase builds, goes down, and then builds again without
>stopping and I'm not sure what to do. Are there general "logical"
>conventions to follow here? I suppose I should have asked the same
>question when we did Mahler 1 a few years back, but somehow it
>seemed less confusing there, or maybe somone had firm opinion and
>the rest of us just followed like sheep.
>
>Many thanks for advice....and other pointers or reminscences of
>course welcome!
>
>Martin
>
>
>--
>Martin Pergler pergler@-----.edu
>Grad student, Mathematics http://www.math.uchicago.edu/~pergler
>Univ. of Chicago
>
>
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