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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000387.txt from 2001/04

From: "Gregory Smith" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Re: Questions for former Marcellus Students
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 08:29:26 -0400

----- Original Message -----=20
From: "Neil Leupold" <>
Subject: Re: [kl] Re: Questions for former Marcellus Students

> --- Gregory Smith <> wrote:
> > And for those that have never heard the recording and will hear it=20
> > for the first time soon....well I envy all of you.
> I still remember the first time I heard the recording, and then I=20
> immediately wished I hadn't. For years prior, I'd heard the acco-
> lades and idolatry, the statements that this was the definitive per-
> formance of the concerto, to which all players should aspire to emu-
> late.=20

Indeed you were set up with false expectations with accolades of that =
nature...although considering what else was out there at the time, one =
could see why they were enraptured by it. I personally heard the early =
DePeyer recording first and by contrast found the Marcellus =
"boring".....that was at 11 years old. I grew to appreciate why I felt =
that way at the time and only appreciated the Marcellus as I began to =
understand clarinet playing and music later on when my tastes changed.

> I'd heard dozens of renditions by other players already and=20
> thought to myself (a victim of the hype) I gingerly placed my=20
> compact disc into the CD tray, "Wow, I think I'm about to have my
> mind exploded or something."
> 'Ever been in the middle of an orchestra rehearsal, focused intensely
> on the music, counting rests amidst an intricate orchestral passage,
> priming yourself to come in at the precise correct moment and nail=20
> that big solo you have coming up? Three bars left, you lift the in-
> strument to your mouth, take a gorgeous diaphragm-full load of air
> into your lungs, set the embouchure, and....And....AND (!!!!!!!!!!)>=20
> - the conductor drops his arms and waves off the orchestra. All you=20
> can do is let the air rus hout of your lungs and feel your body =
> with the depression of an anticlimax.>=20

> Marcellus' recording is crystal clear, delicate, subtle, and =
> but I never found myself placing it on a pedestal, head & shoulders =
> all other interpretations. It has merits unique to itself, but I hear
> wonderful things in other renditions that I miss in Marcellus'. And =
> agreement with Dan, there's an energy, a spark, that feels missing =
> the performance. I have to agree that the tempo is a little sluggish=20
> relative to the lightness with which Marcellus shapes the music. =20
> Well, I have to go to work now, so this is an incomplete editorial, =
> I admit that as wonderfully as Marcellus played the piece in that =
> I didn't come away from it feeling as if I'd heard the singing voice =
of god=20
> or something.
> ~ Neil

Funny, I feel the same way...about the God thing, pedestals, etc.=20
I was just commenting on D. Leesons' conspicuous ommision of why he =
disliked the recording as he stated a year or so ago, that's all. That =
the lack of improvisation diminished the quality of the interpretation =
of the music already decided upon and laid down to disc.

All the best,

Gregory Smith =20

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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