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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000582.txt from 2001/04

From: rgarrett@-----.edu
Subj: Re: [kl] Re: Hindemith
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 22:27:41 -0400

At 07:37 PM 04/24/2001 -0600, you wrote:
>When he got to me, about five chairs down, mine was also flat. I knew it,
>but since no one else had pushed back in before playing their flat F's I
>figured I'd just play what was there. He looked me squarely in the eye,
>raised his eye brows so you could see a lot of the whites of his eyes and
>said to me, "You'd be satisfied with anything, wouldn't you."
>(Coincidentally, it was only shortly after that that I learned about
>tuning rings.)

Sorry you had to deal with that. Let me ask you, given your statement that
you figured you would just play it where it was...............was he
right? Did you add the first trill key to raise the pitch? Did you
consider pushing in to avoid the onslaught? In short (no pun intended!),
was there even an inkling of truth to what he said?

>He also picked on a cymbal player and the bass drummer. I learned later
>that picking on the bass drummer was one of his tricks. He did that where
>ever he went and conducted.

Do you know this for a fact? Or is it possible that bass drummers and
cymbal players tended to typically be the ones who couldn't play snare,
timpani, and melodic keyboard, and his conclusions with both were more
correct than incorrect (barring his reaction - I'm only interested in your
honest assessment of HIS assessment of the players.....).

>I recall the cymbal player throwing the cymbals onto the hardwood gym
>floor and walking off saying, "I've had enough of this shit!" Revelli
>retorted with, "That's right. That's what makes the grass grow green."

And how do you feel about a person in any profession getting upset enough
to exhibit this kind of behavior - even if it isn't necessarily directed at
him? In other words - why didn't YOU walk out after slamming your
instrument to the ground?

>This was the last musical event I played in in high school. After
>practicing for the previous five years, averaging three hours per day on
>the clarinet, this was the bitter-sweet pill I had to swallow.

How was the performance Richard? Did you learn anything from Revelli other
than how not to behave?

>It doesn't have to be that way, and it shouldn't have been that way then.
>Clarence Sawhill got just as much music out of young people and he did it
>with love, a twinkle in his eye and good humor. Later, when I went to
>college, I was taught that when temperature go to extremes, the pitch
>should roll with those temperatures. Off the top of my head, I can't
>remember it, but it works. Conn did an intonation study sometime in the
>late 30's or 40's and came to the same conclusion. If Revelli had known
>jack about clarinets he would not have subjected us all to this impossible
>situation, nor would he have blamed us for not being able to
>cope with it. Also, he would have told us about tuning rings.

Well, you may be right. On the other hand, I don't know of any other
public school teacher who single-handedly taught every instrument at his
public school - and then took them to five consecutive national
championships - without any students studying privately except with
him. Since he took lessons with the principal musicians in the Chicago
Symphony (on all primary instruments of the winds/percussion section), he
knew more than most band directors. But it is possible that he didn't know
the fine details, and that his goal was to keep the pitch as close to A440
as possible - because of the melodic keyboard instruments and other
instruments that were not as negatively affected by the 85 degrees
temperature as the clarinets. Frankly - 85 is not that high - and pitch
can remain at A440 under those circumstances. It is when it climbs to 90
and above that one must accept some issues.

>He's gone now, so I won't tell you what I really think. I will say, he was
>rude, treated many young people abusively and somehow got away with it.

Kind of makes you wonder how he "somehow got away with it" doesn't
it? There are many people who think he was rude and treated people
abusively. On the other hand, John Mohler, who was his principal
clarinetist at U. Michigan between 1955 and 1959 says he was one of the
most positive people he ever met. My father, who played for him in 1955,
says lots of things - positively and negatively. Hell - Revelli wouldn't
even give my father and mother the rehearsal off (for commencement!) the
morning after they were married. My mother, bless her soul, took a home
movie of the rehearsal that my dad had to attend - and they both have
different feelings about the man. I love that movie by the way!

Revelli once asked me, "what do people think of me?", and my response was
interesting. I was fortunate that I came to know him in a different light
than you - many hours of discussions and a couple of wonderful conducting
symposiums for which I was involved. I took he and Mary out for dinner in
1984 and spent two hours listening to the most amazing stories ever - how I
wish I had recorded his words!

I don't think Revelli did it all correctly - but I think he was an amazing
musician and teacher - and, while he made mistakes as all do - he was a
great thing for the education of thousands of young and old musicians the
world over.............and I mean that sincerely. And wow - did his bands
ever sound impressive - even by today's standards.

I'm sorry you are so bitter - and I certainly understand your feelings. I
hope you can understand that Revelli had many different sides - perhaps you
only saw one......

Best wishes,
Roger Garrett

>rgarrett@-----.edu wrote:
>
> > At 06:31 PM 04/24/2001 -0600, you wrote:
> > >And then there was this guy named Wm. D. Ravelli. After the way he
> > >insulted and
> > >intimidated many fellow, young musicians around me, makes me wonder
> how many
> > >actually quit after that, or even worse.
> >
> > Richard,
> >
> > I wonder if you might go into a bit of detail here. In other words, in
> > what kind of setting did Dr. Revelli insult the musicians around you? Were
> > you in the Michigan Band, or was this for an honor group? What piece(s)
> > were you playing, and under what conditions did he "insult" these players?
> >
> > Best wishes,
> > Roger Garrett
> >
> > Roger Garrett
> > Clarinet Professor
> > Director, Symphonic Winds
> > Illinois Wesleyan University
> > School of Music
> > Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
> > Phone: (309) 556-3268
> > Fax: (309) 556-3121
> >
> > "A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes
> > another's."
> > Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)
>
>
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Roger Garrett
Clarinet Professor
Director, Symphonic Winds
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
Phone: (309) 556-3268
Fax: (309) 556-3121

"A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes
another's."
Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)

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