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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000398.txt from 1999/04

From: Phil Shapiro <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Bells up in Mahler
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 01:41:57 -0400



I'm glad you had the chance to play such a great piece.  Yes, it is
exciting!  And the choreography of  "The Dancing Bells" may have made it
more fun/special for you.  If so, then it was worthwhile.

However, I seriously doubt that the visual effect, while powerful enough
to be noticed by 'several' people, is worth the trouble.  Unless you
want to lift the bells above the height of your music stand, ala Artie
Shaw.  Not a position conducive to quality clarinet playing, in my
opinion.  Why not just hold the instruments up in the air?  Or for that
matter, we could just stand up dance band style. Maybe get the wind
section to do the wave?   Sorry, I'm being silly.  But you do get my
(grossly overstated) point I hope.

And, as your own informal poll showed, there is no appreciable effect on
the sound.  In fact, I suggest that you stuff your swab into your bell
and play a scale up from the bottom of your instrument.  You'll see that
the notes the bell has an appreciable effect on are few,  your high
notes included.

But as you said, you enjoyed it and that's all that matters really.  So
you continue to raise bells if the spirit moves you, and  I will still
ignore this marking (pigheaded conductors notwithstanding).  We'll both
be happy and Mahler won't suffer either way.

Happy Tooting!


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