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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000841.txt from 1999/01

Subj: Re: [kl] Subjective and Objective
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 01:24:49 -0500

>On Sun, 17 Jan 1999 19:20:03 -0500, said:
>> The "character" argument is what the Paris Conservatory professors
>> used to reject Muller's clarinet in the early 19th century.
>> Funny, in a short time, other clarinetists, not so constrained by
>> talent, had made it the choice instrument in France.
>You have to remember that the music was changing too, Tom. As the music
>got more complex, instruments became more powerful and more flexible in
>order to keep up with the technical demands.
>It's indubitable that the character of the instruments changed as a
>result of this, and certainly at least arguable that not all of that
>change of character improved the performance of earlier music.
>I thought you were against "arguments from the masses" anyway?
>(Can I say, "Funny, in a short time, other players have made period
>instruments the choice on recordings and concerts of baroque music."?)
What I mean by this is that the clarinet "experts" at the time had gotten
very used to their instruments and have even learned to rationalize some of
their difficulties, imperfections and inequities by saying it was a part of
the instrument's character and they even had figured out how to use these
imperfections as "expressive devises" on occasion.
Muller's instrument, more fluid, more facile and more even removed many
imperfections and made some things previously difficult to impossible quite
They had become so fixed on their instruments and had so much of their
personal lives "invested" in learning it that they were unwilling to
consider anything else......even when it clearly had improvements.
Those who call imperfections in instruments today "character" are in the
same boat. We, as players, should determine the character, not have it de
facto, like it or not, in this or that area of the clarinet.

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