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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000060.txt from 2001/04

From: stewart kiritz <kiritz@-----.net>
Subj: Re: [kl] Fw: [kl] RE: Jonathan Cohler and friends in "Clarinetissimo!"
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 01:46:59 -0400

Hi Dan,

What is your favorite food? And what is your "rational reason" for
preferring it? Sorry, I must restrain myself because I realize that we are
so far apart in our understanding of aesthetics and taste that I am
convinced there is no way to bridge the gap and I respect you too much to
get into any kind of acrimony here. I have appreciated so much all your
contributions I have read on this forum.

That being said, I must, however, disagree that rational reasons come into
play in responses to things like more or less vibrato, dark or light sound,
whatever. Maybe it's my degree in philosophy and logic coming into play
here, but my strong belief is that you cannot decide these questions on the
basis of logical, objective, or rational criteria since they are aesthetic
dimensions. It would be like saying the American school of clarinet tone is
superior or inferior to the English school (if one can really make this
distinction that clearly) because of "rational reasons." This makes
absolutely no sense to me. They are simply different --some like one; some
prefer the other; some both.

When I was studying recorder with Marion ver Bruggen, I learned a bit about
how vibrato was used in Baroque recorder (and also string) playing. It was
used sparingly, as ornamentation, not continuously, as the underpinning of
the tone the way it often is today. So I suppose you could say that at
least for baroque music, there is a rational reason for NOT using vibrato
all the time, as some contemporary recorder or flute players do. This
rationale, however, is based simply on an historical criterion. You could
equally well argue that tastes have changed, and that just as Bach is played
on a piano using dynamics today, contemporary flute or recorder players have
evolved to a style of using more vibrato. Which is correct? Neither.
Perhaps one is more correct if you are claiming to be attempting historical
accuracy, and another is correct if you are claiming consistency with
contemporary practice, but what if you are not making that claim? How do
you decide who is right or wrong? Decisions that are "objective" or
"rational" are presumably ones that have a truth value or at least a
rationale. It is difficult to find a right/wrong regarding vibrato if one
is not claiming to be consistent with some historical or current paradigm of
performance. Each player is left to work out an internal aesthetic that
fits for her/his own musical sensibilities. Anything else would be
elevating one's own taste to a supposedly rational standard of correctness,
which to me is a category error.

Stewart Kiritz

----- Original Message -----
From: "Daniel Leeson" <leeson0@-----.net>
Subject: Re: [kl] Fw: [kl] RE: Jonathan Cohler and friends in
"Clarinetissimo!"

> Sorry Stewart. I thought I checked all the messages but missed this
> one. I'm sorry that you feel the way you do, no so much against the
> practice, but because you don't have any reason for your statement.
> Feeling has much less of a place in clarinet playing than one would
> think. As practicing, performing, serious musicians, we need to make
> our decisions based on a lot more than how we feel about a practice.
> Because we function in a subjective business does not mean that our
> arguments about how to play should not have a strong objective side to
> them.
>
> You still, of course, have every right to play whatever way you wish,
> but you do yourself a disservice by the abandonment of any rational
> reason for doing or not doing it.
>
> There are valid technical arguments in support of vibrato on the
> clarinet (and other instruments, too, of course) and I suspect that you
> are not really as aware of them as you might be.
>
> In any case, thanks for your answer. But I didn't learn anything.
>
> Dan Leeson
>
> stewart kiritz wrote:
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "stewart kiritz" <kiritz@-----.net>
> > To: <klarinet@-----.org>
> > Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2001 4:51 PM
> > Subject: Re: [kl] RE: Jonathan Cohler and friends in "Clarinetissimo!"
> >
> > > Dan,
> > >
> > > Nothing is wrong with it. Some people love peaches and some prefer
> > > apricots. Some people like sushi and some can't stand it. It's not a
> > > right/wrong thing -- just a reaction.
> > >
> > > That being said, I do like a gentle touch of vibrato used sparingly.
But
> > I
> > > don't enjoy playing in which vibrato is a constant part of the sound,
like
> > a
> > > violin vibrato (which I do like). Who knows why?
> > >
> > > Stewart
> > >
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Daniel Leeson" <leeson0@-----.net>
> > > To: <klarinet@-----.org>
> > > Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2001 4:08 PM
> > > Subject: Re: [kl] RE: Jonathan Cohler and friends in "Clarinetissimo!"
> > >
> > >
> > > > Stewart, you have a right to enjoy what you enjoy, but could you
share
> > > > with me why you have such an aversion to a player using a vibrato.
You
> > > > write: "Personally, like a previous poster, I don't much enjoy
vibrato
> > > > on the clarinet except when used extremely sparingly."
> > > >
> > > > In effect, what's wrong with it?
> > > > --
> > > > ***************************
> > > > ** Dan Leeson **
> > > > ** leeson0@-----.net **
> > > > ***************************
> > > >
> > >
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> --
> ***************************
> ** Dan Leeson **
> ** leeson0@-----.net **
> ***************************
>
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