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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000114.txt from 1999/06

From: "J. Michael Norsworthy" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Copland Finzi
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 11:52:30 -0400

Michael Bryant wrote:

> Naive Question? Is there a general opinion about
> Finzi's Clarinet Concerto?
> It would be shame-faced over-confidence to suppose British music
> might be wanted anywhere else, BUT is it generally hard to get!?
> Is it fair to conclude that the publishers are just not trying?


My opinion of the Finzi Concerto is that it's simply gorgeous!! I've played
the piece many times in recital with piano but unfortunately I've never had
the opportunity to play it with orchestra. One of the reasons for its
unpopularity might be because it's not a flash-n-trash competition piece.
(i.e. Weber 2) I've often wanted to play Finzi in competitions but when
pitted up against violinists and pianists who are playing Prokofiev 2 violin
and Rachmaninoff 3rd piano.... it just doesn't seem to win. (and yet....
Barber's violin concerto wins all the time.... go figure!!) That's my point
of view, but I'm sure it doesn't cover all the bases.

British music does not seem to be played all that terribly much in the U.S.
(if I may generalize). I'm a lover of this music and I play as much of it as
I can. I've played in pieces by Finzi, Stanford, Bax, Vaughan-Williams,
Alwyn, Cooke, Turnage and yes, everyone's favorite modern master (who's music
is really fun to read!!) Brian Ferneyhough. I'm also currently working on
pieces by James Dillon, Michael Finnissy, Chris Dench and have looked at
several pieces by Richard Barrett. (if you think Ferneyhough is fun.... try
this guy!!!)

This music is ALL easily attainable in the U.S.A. I've never so much as had a
piece placed on back-order. I can't honestly tell you what the problem seems
to be with British music in areas outside of the U.K. For me, this music
makes up an important part of my repertoire. It should be noted this music is
always well-received; people seem to like it, it fits the instrument well and
audiences walk away with a smile.

I will continue to play a lot of British music and I hope to play it someday
in the U.K. where my interpretations can be fairly and adequately judged and
coached by people who know and understand this music. Thanks for your post,
it gave me a chance to publicly support music that I feel is invaluable in the
clarinet repertoire.

J. Michael Norsworthy

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