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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000274.txt from 2000/09

From: "James Sclater" <Sclater@-----.edu>
Subj: Re: [kl] Great Recital, David
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 11:49:00 -0400

Pattie, you make me wish I had heard David's program. The Copland is also =
a favorite of mine
This really relates to the other thread you mentioned in which Kevin used =
the word "crap" in connection with 20th century music. Let me add my $.02 =
here.=20

While it is true that the years have culled out the bad music of the past, =
the question remains how to promote the good music of the present. Yes, =
that does entail performing a lot of new music and hearing it often so =
that one can discover, through repeated listening and exposure what speaks =
to us.=20
What is particularly discouraging to me, as a composer, is that so many =
fine players choose to record the older repertoire over and over. There is =
a wealth of good new music waiting to be discovered and disseminated if =
performers will care enough to do it. (This is why the ICA CD project is =
such a good thing)

I don't think that one hearing of any challenging new work is enough to =
enable anyone to make meaningful decisions about the worth of that piece, =
especially if the language is difficult. The relationship between a =
performer and a composer can be a very exciting one if both keep an open =
mind. Maybe we all just need to try a little harder to promote the music =
of the present.

Jim Sclater

James Sclater
Professor of Music
Mississippi College

>>> pattiesmith@-----.net 09/08/00 10:41AM >>>
I, too, enjoyed your recital, David. Especially enjoyable was the
performance of "Three for Two", a new composition by composer Allan Blank
and "As it Fell Upon a Day" for clarinet, flute and soprano by Copland. =
the
movements of "Three for Two" are entitled "A Giddy Twosome", "The Solitude
of Self" and "Projecting the Self". The composition is a psychological =
-
musical relationship between clarinetist and pianist, and clearly =
reflected
the twenty year collaboration between clarinetist and composer .
The Sonata for clarinet and piano (transcribed from the violin and piano
sonata, 1943), was, for lack of better words, amazing to me. Musically, I
think I like the key it is in for violin better (David, correct me if I am
wrong, Copland transposed it down a fourth in order to put certain
expressive sections in the chalumeau?), but that is not to denigrate its
performance on clarinet at all. Quite to the contrary. It combines the
musical plainness of Copland's writing during that period with writing for
the clarinet which is challenging even for a master of the instrument, as
David is.
Three octave leaps, with precision and grace....the thing of dreams for =
the
great majority of us.

On another thread, Kevin Fay writes:
"So much of the music of the twentieth century was crap. Good thing, too.
This comes from a clarinetist (that would be me) who volunteers to play in =
a
community orchestra pretty much dedicated to playing new music. Most of =
it
is bad. Some of it is shockingly bad..."

Kevin, it is a shame you are on the other coast. We were treated to some =
of
the best of the 20th century that night. Dr. Blank's composition, though
certainly challenging for the musical intellect, was also highly listenable=

and, for this listener, found an emotional place not often visited by new
music these days. If any readers of the list are not familiar with his
music, do check it out; you are in for a treat.

David, I hope you recorded the performance...I want a CD.

BTW, Dr. Blank also wrote a clarinet duo a number of years back. It was
very playable and, although I owned it at one time, I have been unable to
find it (lost in a move, perhaps...) and cannot recall the name of the
composition.

Cheers,
Patty Smith

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